5 years ago by

I did not understand, and I mean, not at ALL, what was happening in fashion (like, am I completely out of it? Tell me what you think at the end of this article) – when I saw the HIDEOUS Balenciaga sneakers (I’m not being mean: the whole point of those sneakers is to be hideous: they’re called ugly sneakers apparently) on the feet of all the fashion girls (the term fashionista is banned from now on, by the way) and the EVEN MORE HIDEOUS IF IT’S EVEN POSSIBLE Gucci sneakers (enormous, covered in gemstones, completely absurd, but it seems to be working).

I knew this whole thing had been started by nutso Kanye (he’s just as talented as he is insane).

But I thought, eeeeh okay whatever, there are some trends we have the right to ignore, so that’s exactly what I did. Especially because it’s not like you, our readers, were sitting around waiting for us to talk about the ugly sneakers. Or maybe you were? Don’t hesitate to let us know if we’re skipping over an essential fashion trend like this one! (lololol)

ANYWAY. One day I was at the MALL (yes, I live in LA so my new life is filled with tons of malls and their poor cousin, the strip mall) at Saks, where I was hanging out after an amazing Omorovicza facial (incredible brand, remind me to tell you about it later) when suddenly I see a tall, skinny girl of about…hmm…barely 14 years old, I’d say – pass by with her mom, super pretty, wearing shorts that were MEGA SHORT, like Gen Z short (even Millennials would blush) (as for my generation, Gen X, we’ve only got two options: roll our eyes or say “I love it!!!” because we’re at an age where we know how to admire the freshness and innocence of things we would NEVER allow ourselves to wear.)

So anyway, very short shorts, super cropped t-shirt (the mother had the disillusioned look of those moms who are exhausted and ready to accept anything at this point) and huge, and I mean HUGE SNEAKERS.

And you know what? I thought she looked great. Super well dressed. Suddenly, it was a good look.

You know what I mean? When all you need is one image to realize you just didn’t get it before?


So, that was the moment I realized I was skipping over a pretty important fashion trend. So here we are now, I’m rectifying my mistake on this day of October 2018.

Since then, with my curiosity piqued, I stopped at Flight Club (THE sneaker store where you can find all the collectors including Kanye’s $2000 shoes) and I bought myself some Pharell sneakers. I have absolutely no idea when I’ll wear them, considering how flashy they are, but here again, I’m just realizing even more how the sneaker craze completely passed me by.

Here I thought we were becoming more and more conscious of the future of our planet. That’s what people have been saying about kids these days.

But, bad news:
most of them don’t care thhhaaaat much, just like we didn’t really care at their age.
The only thing they want is to be cool in their $2000 sneakers.

But then again, don’t count on me to be the judge. It’s easy to say “buy better, buy less” after spending the better part of my thirties changing shoes four times a day.

So, in conclusion: if you want a pair of sneakers that really stands out, or even a pair of HIDEOUS sneakers, now is the time. You can get them at just about any price and there are even some brands that are more environmentally friendly than others.

To each her own.

And if you insist, I’ll show you my Pharell sneakers, which I paid way too much for (but not $2000 – I’m too old for that hahah!)



Coat, Nili Lotan; T-Shirt, Shaina Mote; Pants, Vince; Sneakers, Fila; Bag, A.P.C.


Shop the story


Add yours
  • Sunny Side October, 16 2018, 10:03 / Reply

    All sneakers are HIDEOUS !!!

  • I agree! I go to great lengths not to wear them even when I’m on my feet all day. Glad I can pick and choose my fashion trends to follow. Passing on this one.

    I still love the way Garance tells her stories.

  • Bah oui montre !!! :-) Au début des Triple S, j’ai fait “WTF” puis dans leur version colorée “c’est cute, on dirait des voitures auto-tamponeuses de l’espace” – Mais à 700e la blague, t’as vite fait de ne pas rigoler longtemps – j’ai trouvé des ersatz à Lisbonne mais l’originale m’est restée dans la rétine – résultat, ça fait 2 mois que je les traque dans ma taille de minimoi (35 fillette) et que ça devient une obsession – gen X – La vie ne nous apprend rien :-)

  • Bien sûr qu’on veut voir tes nouvelles baskets !

  • Cela fait plusieurs occasions où je me rends compte que je me mets à trouver jolis des trucs que je trouvais immondes quelques mois plus tôt, comme les chaussettes légèrement hautes avec les baskets par ex. Idem pour les grosses baskets.
    Attention quand même, les baskets immondes à petit prix ça peut vraiment abimer les pieds (car elles sont très très très très raides).
    Quant à Kanye, j’ai pensé à lui tout le temps d’une course le week-end dernier à cause de mes écouteurs, et je m’étais lancée une idée débile comme je fais souvent, genre si je fais mieux que mon chrono de l’an dernier, Kanye arrêtera d’avoir ses drôles d’idées actuelles. Hélas j’ai une mauvaise nouvelle, je n’ai pas réussi à améliorer mon chrono !

  • I still don’t get this trend and I’m a millennial. It’s just one of those trends that I know I will never be able to get on board with. And IF there ever comes a day I think to myself that this looks good, I’ll be freaking out because it will mean I’ve been brainwashed ?

  • Cass Estes October, 16 2018, 11:17 / Reply

    I feel your pain and confusion over this trend, I’m still not quite ready to embrace it. I am warming up to the high top version, somehow they seem more in balance with the heavy sole. Anytime fashion embraces a style that’s comfortable, especially in footwear…I cheer!

  • Darnit!

    I saw kicks of all kinds sneaking in (pun intended) on other sites, but I thought to myself, “As long as the Garance crew is still ignoring these puffy monstrosities, I can too!”


    Do they have to be so… large? Inflated? They are so… cartoonish! Even in white.

    Must we leave behind our slim little converse or sleek, bright, tennis shoes?


  • OK non, moi mes baskets elles me servent à faire mon footing, point. :)

  • Hi Garance,
    I can totally relate to your story! I felt exactly the same way about these FUGLY sneakers and was wondering if this trend was going to just die. I was completely going to resist and ignore this whole trend since it is just for the kids…right? Then I was in Paris last month and tried the fugly sneakers on at Louis Vuitton and thought that maybe they are not so bad! Then it turns out the first lady of France also wears dad sneakers. You can even pair them with a lady-like dress, which means I can stand all day at an exhibition and still look trendy AND be comfortable at the same time! So I can now understand why this trend is hard to resist since they are also practical and comfortable at the same time. Sigh….here we go…

  • Je n’aime deja pas les chaussures blanches alors les enormes baskets avec des brillants ??!!! Je porte des sneakers (gris) pour faire du sport mais je comprends l’attirance des trucs a la mode, surtout quand on les voit portes par des filles magnifiques.
    Je n’en suis qu’aux Vans…….. :-)))

  • Fashionista maybe out but fashion victim is still, in!!

  • Chrissie Dyson October, 16 2018, 2:04 / Reply

    I predict the return of skyscraper heels fairly soon…

    All shoes should be comfortable, it is perfectly possible to make comfortable shoes with any type of heel. I’m not thrilled by all the plastic involved in these, really we have to wake up about sustainability and fashion, sorry I’m being a party popper x

  • Ugh, no. Tall, pretty, skinny 14 year olds look good in nearly everything because youth is pretty. But even they can barely pull these off, in my opinion.
    I think they instantly make every outfit look less put together- like you’re an office worker at lunchtime who changed out of her real shoes into her walking shoes to go power walking.

  • Ah oui on veut les voir !!! Et aux pieds hein Garance, des “Steve Jobs” !!! pas la tof’ commerciale ;p
    Moi j’arrive pas à craquer pour les “modes extrêmes”, enfin, c’est l’effet feu de paille un peu, à la pointe de la mode pendant quelques mois et après trop la honte, ça devient in-revendable sur n’importe quel site et ça prend de la place dans les placards…: un peu comme les “baskets ultra-compensées” d’Isabelle Marant puis copiées partout il y a qlqs années : un tas de copines en portaient, je trouvait que ça faisait shoes orthopédiques…tombées aux oubliettes et in-ressortables désormais !
    Bisettes de sunny Paris

  • wow that is so cool. love (and need) comfy shoes and how fashionable! great post.
    Joy at The Joyous Living

  • Sorry everyone. I’m a GenXer with flat feet and when I saw something comfortable come into style I jumped at it. Got myself a pair of super light, but not puffy and huge, white sneakers with glittery laces. I wanted to do some extra walking and now I can without hurting my feet. I’m actually really happy about this trend. Lol

  • sandrine October, 17 2018, 9:03 / Reply

    ah mais oui qu’on veut les voir ces baskets!
    et moi quinqua assumée ça fait bien longtemps (au moins 6ans!) que ça fait ma signature tout porter même les jupes crayons, les robes fleuries ou les vestes de smoking avec des baskets! On peut dire même que je suis une “sneakers addict”!
    “Immondes” ou pas comme tu dis mais ça casse tellement le côté “dadame” de toutes les tenues surtout en étant secrétaire de direction on a vite tendance à se sentir dans un moule caricature. et oui je suis à la recherche des sneakers chunkies qui me feraient de l’oeil! et puis on est tellement bien dedans!

  • Hi —

    I normally wouldn’t comment – but…

    I completely didn’t get these sneakers. When we were in Italy in May – all the window were full of them…yuck! Then the other week my impossibly tiny Korean friend showed up wearing a pair. Okay…very cool and comfy looking.

    However, as an almost-60 woman, I’m just saying no. They don’t look chic or cool on me…they just make me look geriatric.

    Gotta be in touch with how casting would see you (if you were an actor!) Not every trend looks good on everyone. Except for 20-somethings…they can wear burlap bags and rock ’em. So I’m letting the kids have their fun.

  • I’ve been watching this trend and waiting. I found a great pair of Unravel Project sneakers on Net-a-Porter that are in my shopping basket. Very excited. I’ve been wearing Vans but need an update.

    This post was very timely.

  • I’d love to see how you wear them Garance. Please post when you do. Have had the exact same thoughts – shall I…. shan’t I….can I wear these aged 46?! Oh the dilemmas we have ???

  • Well. I’ve been around fashion enough to spot a trend-to-be when I see one.
    I remember following closely the style of Gemna Gvasalia and his brand VETEMENT, and I saw the first pair of ugly dad sneakers he came up with. LOVED IT, as everything he does and knowing his 90’s Street Style / Hip-Hop influences and inspirations, I knew it came from the trend of FILA’s sneakers, very popular back in the 90’s. And since he’s the AD of Balenciaga, he made it a major trend with Gucci and Louis Vuitton following. Hell, even Stella McCartney got into it.
    But more than spotting a trend-to-be, I know how to make the difference between a trend and an over-hyped trend. And the ugly dad sneakers is one. Give it 2-3 seasons, and they’ll be has-been. Which is why, I made the smart move to not pay for a 1000$ pair of ugly sneakers (I am a millennial, but I ain’t dumb with my coins) and got myself a pair of old times FILA fat white sneakers. Cheaper and gave the same results in style.
    Overall, I like the trend.. and I tolerate all models from all houses. But meh… now watch the trend fade away.

  • ?I am so glad you are into the ‘fugly’ trainer…I have white leather loafers that I have adored and needed something comfy??? these for autumn weather are perfect they look super cool with a pair of tweedy ankle grazers!! And a jumpsuit! Love that you have embraced them too…life is short, have fun I say! X

  • I love you Garance and love your writing! This is where my big but comes . I reread this post just to make sure I understood , and now my last gay nerve is being worked over . Much todo about our attempts to always be on trend , something’s are aesthetically UGLY. Wether we give in or not , us fashion lovers must stop being lead around by designers and brands and call something’s what they are HIDEOUS. Thanks , love ? you all .
    Dress The Part

  • Cleansing deep breath… No thoughts whilst exhaling. Assessment before next breath…ugly, yeah definitely ugly, no need for ugly ( feeling like Rainman here). So, although fascinatingly ugly, I still gravitate toward pretty. No Dad sneaks for me (at this moment).

  • La je passe mon tour volontiers. Toutes les personnes qui sont convaincues aujourd’hui reconnaissent que spontanément leurs réactions étaient simplement de les trouver laides (ok c’est le concept) et ont été converties par l’effet mode. Je trouve ça un peu pathétique. Surtout quand on voit 1) le prix 2) la quantité de plastique.
    A la limite je pourrais tolérer chez les sextagenaires ou plus pour le côté ironique.
    Bcp mettent en avant le confort mais il me semble qu’on a pas la attendu la dad sneaker pour pouvoir trouver des modèles cools et conforts.

  • Love them. Thye just have this sexiness when you put them together with ankle baring wide pants. This isn’t going anywhere. But there is also a nice place for simply classic Reeboks. Thankgoodness high heels have gone away. People keep trying to bring them back, because no matter what anyone says or does they look silly. You can’t run in heels, you can’t evenwalk on uneven ground in them for long.

  • shopgirl October, 18 2018, 6:21 / Reply

    Ha, ha, really, they’re so HIDEOUS. Especially in contrast with those teenagers or models toothpick legs…
    But it is also true that for us, with thicker legs, in chunky shoes, they look thinner. I never liked ballerinas or some elegant shoe with shorts, skirts or dresses, but now with sneaker trend I find it OK, much better silhouette. But of course I am sticking with All Star chucks or New Balance, nothing more… :))

  • Yes, of course, we want to see your sneakers!
    BTW this trend reminded me how I used to hate the fact that I wear 39 / 40 size and ALL sneakers looked horrible on me : big foot, tiny calves. Now, everyone is wearing them no matter how they look on you because that’s the very purpose of it. So be it. I am not going to buy a new pair of sneakers, but I think this liberation of minds is a good thing!

  • I’ve always had a big hesitation with ugly sneakers… i still can’t decide whether I love them or hate them !! But anyway, glad to read your story and PLEASE show us an outfit with those Pharrell sneakers ! :)

  • Too ugly. And as someone said above, anything will look good on a tall skinny teenager. But with age comes the sense to understand what is simply a trend, something I would convince myself to wear just because everyone else does, and what I do actually like, feel comfortable in and know suits me. These sneakers are simply ugly and expensive for the sake of it. In a few years they will look dated (Isabel marant high heeled sneakers looking at you). I’ll stick to my classic superga or white converse for summer, Stan Smith or black converse for winter.

  • My guess is that the young person you saw at the mall would have looked good in anything… it wasn’t the sneakers! I think if you lived through that sneaker fashion of the 1990s (remember white sneakers, black linen pants and a white t-shirt – made ‘the thing’ from that show that I think was called Mad About you) you don’t ever want to make that mistake again. Anyway this was such a funny post.

  • Chanthine October, 18 2018, 5:32 / Reply

    Ahh ahah j’ai cru que j’étais la seule folle à trouver ça hideux!!! contente de voir que je ne suis pas totalement larguée!!
    Je regardais une fille dans le métro avec ces Dad Sneakers au pied et j’avais l’impression que ces pieds étaient des ovnis ou des pattes de canard qui rendait sa silhouette filiforme bien lourde! Quel gâchis…

  • Totally cool with that, because at least they are comfortable. As long as fashionable shoes are comfortable, I can forgive them for being hideous!

  • Je comprends le confort mqis je trouve ca tellement moche. ?

  • This is one trend I’m not boarding on…If there’s anything that I’ve learned in my years, is to go for what flatters me. Cool as they may seem, I still prefer to stick with sneakers that look more proportional to my feet rather than giving me a Mickey mouse look with oversized feet. ;)

  • J’ai pensé exactement la même chose des UGG. Et puis… j’ai vu une silhouette qui avait su les dompter. Donc, j’ai fini par acheter des UGG !
    Lors des dernières FW, j’ai pensé la même chose des cyclistes! Mais là, non, non, non! Même si je vois une femme qui a su créer une belle allure avec un short cycliste, promis, je ne craquerai pas !

From the Archives

This or That
  • This or That
  • Holiday Gifting
  • Happy Holidays!
  • #AtelierDoreDoes
  • How To...
atelier dore this or that summer sandals chunky sandals vs. delicate sandals

This or That / Sandal Edition

This or That: American or Française?

This or That: American or Française?

atelier dore this or that lingerie lace or cotton sex month

This or That / Lingerie Edition

This or That / Blush vs. Bronzer

This or That / Blush vs. Bronzer

This or That: The Beanie

This or That: The Beanie

This or That: Nails

This or That: Nails

This or That

This or That

This Or That

This Or That

Silja Danielsen Photo

This Or That: Low Knot or Top Knot