Parisian It-designer Isabel Marant kicked off the most casually accepted and b-girl cool inspired product that began in late 2011 and is still going strong in ’12: the wedged sneaker. The wedged sneaker epitomizes the juxtaposition of feminine details on top of something that is generally associated with men’s activities or behavior…in this sense, men’s fashion. The wedge is akin to the high heel which is forever largely linked to the feminine mystique when outward appearance is concerned, and the sneaker itself, one of few shortlisted items that is a part of the all-American look alongside jeans and a plain T-shirt. Think of the addition of the wedge sneaker an even more modernized version of the Western look, like when jeans went from being a boot cut staple to a now standard skinny look.
The wedge sneaker has been done before, but in last months, it was a bit of a secret amongst the elite and celebrity on how to supplement a casual dressy outfit, but once Beyoncé’s “Love on Top” music video premiered and fashion sites let the cat out the bag when the cool looking, kind of chunky assembled sneaker that she was wearing were by Isabel Marant. Beyoncé, until her recent birth of Blue Ivy, rarely ever wore sneakers in public (not to mention barely any flats), so that alone was enough reason to spark interest, but the actual design of the sneaker also brought some curiosity. Named Anbo, Willow, and Bekket (separately) these Marant wedge sneakers have taken off tremendously with not only celebrities but eventually everyone else not haven’t ever been on a sound stage as soon enough the knock-offs arrived as alternative versions can be found at and by Aldo’s, See by Chloe, Giuseppe Zanotti Design, Ash, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and Topshop, and the most shameless one belonging to the ultimate copy-cat master Steve Madden as his wedge sneaker quite literally looks like Marant’ts, you really can’t tell the difference.
More spin-offs are likely to appear over the summer as the trend shows no signs of slowing down with Marant’s being an official coveted shoe and most consumers are loving the wedge sneaker idea so much that those lucky enough to own one pair of the splurge-tastic Marants (that sell for as high as $760) are often seen purchasing the cheaper or other brand’s variant.
Sneaker wedges are that one item that can slightly dress up or down an outfit interestingly as it is tomboy chic, like picture a maxi skirt finished off with Tophop’s Athletic or Aerobic. Or, a pastel blouse and slinky leather pants with gray Ash sneakers. Another great thing about the wedge sneaker is that it’s an item that is more universal than the traditional heel in that even the most “I hate high heels” girls can appreciate the subtle oomph that a wedge brings while most likely still strolling the city day from day to night as comfortable as possible.
–Carmen Shardae J. C.