This Shoe Is Designed For Instagram

When Instagram was launched in Oct, 2010, it was meant to be a photo-centric alternative to Twitter. Simply put, a social, photo-sharing app to communicate with friends or whoever in the world one wishes to chat with. Little did we know that it would soon become a personal marketing tool and, now, a design-influencing platform

Adidas DeeruptThe new Adidas Deerupt. Photo: Adidas

A matter of time perhaps, but still, it was a little surprising that Adidas has been so upfront with it: their latest shoe, the Deerupt, was designed to look good on Instagram. For something as personal as footwear—or anything used to clothe—it isn’t feet first, but IG foremost. Sneakers have become as camera-facing as the wearer’s visage.

As Global Design Director for Adidas Originals, Oddbjorn Stavseng, told Highsnobiety recently, “we increasingly see Instagram pictures where people shoot their sneakers with their foot planted down, making sure that the toe is pressed down. So when you see Deerupt, you’ll see this same ‘toe-down’ effect which was a purposeful design choice.”

“Purposeful”. That’s the operative word. And the purpose, no doubt, is for the Deerupt to adopt a perpetually IG-ready stance. Before its launch in the stores this week, Instagram was abuzz with news of Deerupt’s impending arrival, communicating sororally to IG followers, just as school chums do when a mean girl is to be transferred from another school to their class.

Adidas Deerupt 360 view.jpg360° view of the Adidas Deerupt. Photos: Adidas

Adidas’s approach does not send consumers rushing to the shopping mall, or their favourite shoe store. You see the product on the brand’s IG page (as well as on those who shared the images) and—as you have another ready in the background—you can, with a click (almost like gesturing, in fact), send your object of desire to a waiting cart, ready for check out. Anyway, who touches a pair of shoes before the purchase; who even tries them on anymore?

The ‘toe-down’ effect that Adidas is banking on supposes that sneakerheads appreciate the admission into their visual world when, in fact, Adidas is occupying a seen-it-before, done-it-already space. Delight is hard to be drawn out in social media of precedents and appeal that mostly makes sense in  the online world is one-dimensional. Adidas can’t be faulted for trying, but our digital footprints, trailed by friends’ ‘likes’ and plodding every purported new stomping ground, mean Netizens are hardly ever on their toes on individuality, let alone originality.

Perhaps this explains why Deerupt isn’t the sneaker to knock the NMD off its pedestal. During the weekend of its launch, we were surprised to find many pairs of the shoe still available at the Adidas Originals store at Pacific Plaza. Of the six customers or so trying sneakers, no one was shod in the Deerupt. Outside, in the window facing Scotts Road, a sole red/blue/black/white version of the new shoe was suspended mid-air, ‘toe-down’ of course, but it did not seem to attract attention the way the Pharrell Williams collab, Hu Holi Blank Canvas collection, did: with a scuffle!

Window displays with the ‘toe-down’ Deerupt at Adidas Originals stores. Photo: Zhao Xiangji

While we were there, we decided to give the Deerupt a try. The shoe does not look as streamlined as it does on those IG feeds. When worn, it makes the feet look rather unattractive. Looking down at them when standing, the Deerupt appears flattened and, with the netting overlay, seems trapped. The packed-down effect is enhanced with a mid-sole that is oddly spread out, creating a rather wide corridor for an already broad shoe. This surely can’t be a joy to wear in a crowded MRT train, especially the NS line at 6pm!

Looks aside, the Deerupt is comfortable as it comes with a knit upper and is overall a light shoe in the vein of Nike’s Roshe. We aren’t certain if this will score with those who buy sneakers specifically for running, but we’re quite sure that in this season of ‘ugly’ sneakers, the Deerupt is perhaps on the wrong side of unattractive: not retro enough and far from forward.

Brand-building based on persona and shtick and social-media following, as well as the tediously dull celebrity hangers-on are unavoidable these days. Among new shoes that flood IG and the like, perhaps those that actually look good when worn will ultimately be winners.

Adidas Deerupt, SGD170, in different colour ways, is available at Adidas Originals stores, as well as Pedder on Scotts

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Portage In These Kicks

Bag maker Manhattan Portage now carry sneakers? With help from Puma, they are offering rather enticing pairs

Puma X Manhattan Portage

This season, one of the most attractive sneakers with camouflage print is Nike’s ‘Country Camo’ treatment for their all-time fave, the Air Force 1. Joining the handsomeness of military motif for feet is this pair of Puma Clyde Zip, conceived in collaboration with Manhattan Portage (MP), mostly known for their sturdy messenger bags. These version looks nothing like the original Clyde, a basketball shoe named after the American NBA star Walt “Clyde” Frazier.

The “Zip’’ edition of the Clyde is unmistakably post-classic, and it is immediately obvious why it receives such a moniker. In keeping with the trend to add horizontal zippers to more trad silhouettes, such as the Y-3 Stan Zip Low-top Neoprene (another sneaker we love!), Puma has given its own a striking fillip. But more than the practical—and for many, useful—detail, there’s also the rather distinctive buckle and strap at the forefoot, as well as lace secures for the entire length of the tongue. How many ups are there against Nike? (Smiley optional)

The New York-based Manhattan Portage’s collaboration with the Herzogenaurach-headquartered Puma, interestingly, isn’t just about shoes (there are two styles, including the Clyde Sock). There are also, as you would have thought, the bags, which reminds us of the Timberland X Porter collab: smart and usable, but unsurprising.

In fact, if you walk into the Manhattan Portage flagship in 313@Somerset, you’ll mostly see rather conventional bags. In Japan, the picture is quite different. Early this year, they have collaborated with Undercover to spread the latter’s Chaos/Balance mantra via MP’s messenger bags. Previously, in 2010, they’ve incorporated Frapbois’s almost cute graphics into messengers as well. They have also teamed with Tokyo-based retailers such as Freak Store and Beams to yield rather fetching, covetable results.

While nothing exceptional can be picked out at the local MP store, just next door at Limited Edt Vault, this pair of fine-looking sneakers, awaiting appreciative owners, are ready to be unlaced, unbuckled, and unzipped.

Puma X Manhattan Portage Clyde Zip, SGD165, is available at Limited Edt Vault. Photo: Puma

(2017) Winter Style 5: The Sock Sneaker

Buddy sock sneaker

The whole sock sneaker trend does not seem to be abating, not when Balenciaga’s monkish Speed Trainer, already a year-old, is still very much the one to cop, at least according to a survey by e-retailer Lyst in partnership with Business of Fashion. The knit upper on a sneaker mid-sole is, of course, not new since Nike created the Flyknit and preceded most (dare we say all?!) with their Sock Dart and Sock Racer. On the high fashion front, Chanel took it a notch higher, literally, by affixing socks on heels some three years back.

Amid so many sock sneakers available this season, from Adidas’s Crazy Explosive to Zara’s Stretch Fabric High Top, we’re partial to this pair from the Japanese shoe (and bag) brand Buddy for one obvious reason: they really appear like a pair of socks (that you might buy for the Christmas season) sitting atop old-school rubber mid-soles. Once you slip into them, the palpable comfort aside, they stare back at you as socked feet in Converse Chucks with invisible uppers!

We are not certain if these sweater-knit-like sneakers will be warm enough for severe winter weather (they are definitely not water repellent for snow or rain), but they are truly an easy-to-put-on sneaker, with a welcome snug too. And they sure are much more fun and attention grabbing than a pair of severe black boots. Be warned: your foot, however, won’t survive the inattentive, heavy-footed commuter in a crowded subway train.

Founded in 2012, Buddy makes rather classic looking sneakers with supremely good materials and includes details such as zips for their lace-ups (in case you prefer the easier way to get out of your shoes). So admirably well made are their shoes that Dover Street Market Ginza offered an exclusive Mary Jane, early this month, called the “English Pointer” that quickly sold out within weeks of its release. What’s truly special about Buddy is the refinement in which every pair of of their shoes is infused with. These are reliable sneakers for every day, year in, year out.

Buddy knit sock sneaker, SGD199, is available at Robinsons The Hereen. Photo: Zhao Xiangji

(2017) Winter Style 3: A Soft And Light Mid-Cut

 

Nike Komyuter

When heading abroad to where temperature dips, travellers are inclined to go for sneakers that can cover the ankles. But rather than hitting icy tracks in something chunky and heavy, why not try kicks that are quite the opposite?

This pair of Nike Komyuter has the profile of a sturdy winter shoe, but comes with less than half the weight of the typical. It helps that Nike has chosen a relatively thick nylon upper and, in place of laces, a canvas strap that are held in place with buckles. These are no ordinary buckles as they clasp securely with the aid of unseen magnets. Unbuckling is, therefore, as easy as buckling up.

The advantage of the nylon upper is not only its light weight, but also its water repellent quality. Seasoned winter holiday makers will know that in the cold, precipitation is to be expected—weather snow or rain. While the Komyuter does not completely seal the wearer’s feet from moisture since it does not hug the ankles, it does repel enough so that stepping on puddles of rainwater or piles of wet snow won’t mean instant soggy socks.

Nike Komyuter close-upAlso known by the abbreviation KMTR, this mid-cut was originally conceived as part of the Swoosh’s not often seen here ACG (All Conditions Gear) line. The sock-like construction and suppleness of the upper had early adopters compare it to the Nike Moc, which, to us, is a lot less handsome than the KMTR. In fact, we kept thinking that the Komyuter is very much a silhouette that Yohji Yamamoto would conceive for his main line.

As soon as the foot goes into the Komyuter, the roominess is at once discernible. The advantage of this that can be added to the list: you can wear thick stocks and your feet won’t feel suffocated in there. But slender footwear lovers beware, these sneakers may look puffier than what you’re used to. While there isn’t the usual fancy cushioning system of Nike kicks such as those of the VaporMax, the Komyuter comes with a foam midsole that provides more than adequate underfoot comfort for those long treks in the countryside.

One more plus: the Komyuter is welcome in the suitcase: collapsible—you can pack it as flat as a pair of ballet pumps, well, nearly. And they are one up against boots, which are, sadly, not airport-friendly footwear. The Komyuter, unlike, say, a Timberland 6”, has such a nondescript profile that chances are, they won’t attract attention for the security staff to ask you to take them off so that the scanner could happily scrutinise them.

Nike Komyuter SE Black/Anthracite, SGD229, is available at Limited Edt, Queensway Shopping Centre. Product photos: Nike. Collage: Just So

There’s Always An Occasion For Pink Kicks

Pink sneaks

By Shu Xie

Pantone may have announced that the colour of 2018 is “Ultra Violet”, or what the colour matching company calls “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade”, but, as I see it, many brands and their followers are not quite ready to walk away from Millennial Pink, even if its sweet reign is nearly over. So prevalent is pink that even the tough-looking Adidas NMD now comes in a dusty rose pink (the R1 STLT), and even the usually sophisticated-to-a-fault Pedder on Scotts is offering an unmistakably pink ‘Wink’ lollipop for every purchase during this festive seaaon. Die-hards are no doubt delighted that pink is both wearable and ingestible.

Truth be told, despite its alleged popularity, I am not even sure what exact shade of pink Millennial Pink is, and describing it as Tumblr Pink, as the media have, is not quite the same as particularising a green as bile. But, I figured it isn’t the shiest of blushes, not the boldest of fuchsias—it’s probably somewhere in between, such as the pink of these two, clearly sweet, sneakers (pictured above) from Superga and Common Projects.

And it’s probably this sweetness that draws women of all ages to them. Inexplicably, all-pink sneakers—midsoles not spared—remind me of all-white shoes in school compounds and nurses’ stations: they’re the stuff and symbols of institutions; the monotone a badge of uniformity. Pink, this Millennial version, despite its Tumblr association (and Pinterest-readiness) is neither intense silence nor insufferable din, and has the call of bracing but not rousing morning breeze.

Superga’s all-over pink 2750, despite its on-trend colour and a “luxe” leather upper, has not quite shed its school-girlish patina nor its schoolyard destiny. Common Project Achilles Low, on the other hand, projects a more grown-up veneer, with its clean cut and caressable cowhide totally un-cute. Like I said, there’s a pink sneaker for every woman, young or old, young-old or old-young.

Superga 2750 Leather Nude, SGD169.90, is available at Superga stores. Common Projects Original Achilles Low, SGD615 is available at Kapok. Photos: Superga and Common Projects respectively

Knit For The Chuck

Nike’s Flyknit uppers debuted with the Flyknit Racer in 2012. Five years down the road, not only has the knit-tech appeared on many Nike styles, it’s now also graced the Converse kick that the young can’t seem to get enough of: the Chuck Taylor All Star

 

Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars Flyknit

By Shu Xie

It’s really a matter of time. Besides, a good thing should be shared, right? That, I believe, was what Nike was doing when it availed the Flyknit upper to its sibling brand Converse. First released in April this year in the high-cut version of the Chuck Taylor All Star (in six colours, no less!), the newest iteration is a veritably sleek pair of kicks than can go further than after-school use.

Seriously, when I finally saw these shoes, I was not thinking of pinafores, or white socks, but a pair of Calvin Klein pants that are sharply shaped by Raf Simons. I’d wear these Flyknit-topped Chucks in place of those Western-style boots proposed by the house that Mr Simons now heads. In all honesty, Converse sneakers are not exactly my go-to footwear, as they look too much like plimsolls, those cotton canvas lace-ups that remind me of the always-soiled pair a secondary school classmate of mine used to wear. I do, however, like this handsome Converse in the knit that has brought Nike legions of followers and imitators.

If you look back at the past five years of the Flyknit’s high-profile existence, the Swoosh masters of new materials have been so successful with applying the Flyknit, that, unless you follow the fabric’s journey as closely as those who trail Kendal Jenner’s every move, you may not be aware that many of Nike’s classic silhouettes, from Air Force 1 to Kobe 9, come in versions with this knit upper. To me, not every one of those shoes work. Some of Nike’s popular styles, such as the Airmax 90, become bereft of the sneaker’s original bulk when fashioned with the Flyknit. Some sneakers should not lose weight.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars Flyknit side view

In the case of the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star—conceived in 1917, the shoe pairs beautifully with the Flyknit since they have always been rather aerodynamic in shape. And the Chuck—not a hunk, even when it is originally a baseball shoe—has frequently appeared in fabrics other than cotton canvas. And most, like the Flyknit, take nothing away from the slender silhouette, which attracts those who prefer their sneakers to be canoes rather than catamarans.

To make sure that no one doubts the origin of Flyknit, Nike has, in major kiasu fashion, dubbed this as the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star X Nike Flyknit Low Top. Not sure if the co-branding is necessary since we already know Converse is a division of Nike. Apart from the Flyknit, something else that can be traced to Nike technology is also used: the unmistakable Lunarlon cushioning—here, it is comes in the form of removable in-soles. Both come together to yield a very light Chuck Taylor All Star.

Adding to these two to make the Chuck look less its original form is the Flyknit toe cap which takes the place of the Chuck’s usual rubber version. It’s fused with TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane that interestingly renders the toe cap a darker shade) for a tougher front so that your toes can live to tell that you’ve kicked someone in the butt.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Flyknit Low Cut, SGD159.90, is available at Converse standalone stores. Photo: Converse

When Flower Meets Mountain

Mountain Flower Yamano sneaker

By Shu Xie

I like the stories behind brands; I like them even more when people of one mind meet and then overcome the odds to realise a dream. Two of them, whose coming together I’m sure many creative types can relate to, are the founders of this new-to-Singapore footwear brand, Flower Mountain. Shoe designers Keisuke Ota and Yang Chao, from Tokyo and Beijing respectively, found in each other a common love of footwear design, mountain trekking, and rock music. In fact, it was during the Fuji Rock Festival (once held at the foot of Mt Fuji, hence its name, but now staged in Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture of Japan) when the appealing idea of Flower Mountain was mooted. It’s hard to imagine the fortysomething blokes rocking to Gorillaz or Genshi Shinbo and thinking of broguing and lacing, but apparently they did!

I can’t say who’s the flower and who’s the mountain, but the twain did meet in 2015. As a result, Mr Ota and Mr Yang created some seriously handsome shoes. For sure, the classic sneaker references are there (mid-sole details!), but let’s say there are luxury brands that are far more blatant. What I find charming is that both guys have infused their sneakers with their very own touches and quirks, minus any bombastic branding. The results are so imbued with the spirit of indie, detail-loving shoemakers that Kith New York was enamoured enough to be one of their earliest stockists.

The Yamano sneaker (top) is a case in point. It has a rather familiar form, composed of not terribly unusual details, but the sum of its parts say something about the different aesthetic that the design duo was aiming for. What caught my eyes were the amoeba-shaped, cut-out eyelet guards; the multiple pieces with decorative stitching that form the quarter and the heel counter; and the leather whip stitch that joins the toe and the toe box. When I looked past the collar into the inside of the shoe, I was quite delighted to find an insole that is made of cork (treated with a natural compound known as Agion that has anti-microbial properties to inhibit bacterial growth, which also means reducing unwelcome smells). These are totally caressable kicks, inside out!

Flower Mountain Asuka sneaker

The tactile quality is most evident in the Asuka mid-cut (above). The upper is made from a cotton canvas that is produced in the Japanese town of Kurashiki (Okayama prefecture), known, in fact, for their hanpu—plain-weave canvas that is so durable, they’re used to make sails, a craft that dates back to the end of the Edo period. The canvas used in the Asuka has an unusual texture: it looks suede-y, but could pass off as hand-made paper! The same attention to detail is applied to the rest of the shoe. Given its sturdy looks, I suspect it is more than able to stand against tough terrains. Oh, there is that cork insole too.

In a test-run/walk, Flower Mountain’s Yamano can hold a gerbera (or choose your favourite bloom) to outdoor wear brands such as The North Face. They’re light enough for long treks, and can deal with most weather conditions although I doubt shoe lovers will cross a flooded pathway in them. The cork insole, however, may not be comfortable for naked feet, but because of its anti-microbial effect, it may be ideal for those bent on going sockless. And I do find that the sizes run a little small, which means you may require a pair one size up.

Flower Mountain makes most styles for both men and women, but if the ladies prefer something less rugged, which is understandable, there are the Pampas canvas sneakers. Again, Japanese canvas is used, but what’s eye-catching is the print. Available here, is a sort of camo of Zebras, which I found beguiling. I later learned that this, together with a botanical pattern that is popular in Japan, drew inspiration from the 19th century English textile/wallpaper designer William Morris. Which means that my initial thought of their designs being somewhat Japanese now deserves a strike through.

Flower Mountain shoes—Yamano, SGD339, and Asuka, SGD339—are exclusive to Robinsons The Hereen. Photos: Jim Sim

The Kaiser Does Vans

In aiming to be hip, Vans has aligned itself with an octogenarian. Cool

Vans X KL teeBy Mao Shan Wang

The one thing that caught my attention and that I find intriguing in this latest Vans collaboration is one woman’s T-shirt. It has the up-to-the-torso photograph—although pixilated, still discernible—of the brand’s collaborator: Karl Lagerfeld.

This is not a symbol of the divine. It isn’t Jeremy Scott’s Jesus pants. Yet, the image calls out to me like some tua pek kong. This isn’t the traditional celebrity that we know; this is a force of fashion: narcissistic, omnipresent, inexplicable. Yet, it is Kaiser Karl reduced to a T-shirt, hilariously called the “Boyfriend Tee”! What would he look like in tumble dry mode?

Don’t get me wrong. I believe Mr Lagerfeld deserves to be worshipped as much as Elvis Presley and Mickey Mouse. Except that one would expect the customers of Vans—girls in high school or in junior high, according to Dabney Lee, Vans senior director of global merchandising—to be worship-wearing the visage of Justin Bieber or Harry Styles or, if they like them a wee bit older, Nick Jonas. Or, if fashion icons are imperative, then the cartoon delineation of Karl Lagerfeld, now available in his own Karl Lagerfeld line.

Vans X KL sneaksThe main draw, I suspect, of the Vans X Karl Lagerfeld collaboration is the shoes. These are classic Vans, six of them, such as the Classic Slip-On, given a KL makeover. It is perhaps interesting to note that Mr Lagerfeld may not have had a hand in designing any of these kicks. According to the Vans senior footwear designer, “Working in close partnership, our teams designed the collection to reflect the unique histories of our respective brands.” And she went on to say something about “a tribute to Karl Lagerfeld’s fashion DNA.”

Now, to me, this is the tricky part: Karl Lagerfeld’s own design DNA includes bouclé and quilting? Has Chanel been scratched out of the picture? What appears to be most true to his DNA is the all-caps KARL (with the man’s profile worked into the K) that peeks from between the flaps of the new Old Skool Laceless Platform. That’s DNA, legible and unadulterated.

But, who am I to say? I know the man not.

Vans X Karl Lagerfeld collection is available at Vans, ION Orchard from today. Photos: Vans

Adidas Originals Goes Nude

Is adidas Originals’s latest collaboration a little belated?

It’s one tone close to the shade of our skin—unless you’re especially swarthy—and in that unmistakable vegetable-tanned leather: it’s Hender Scheme. Now, Japan’s premium sneaker maker has paired with adidas Originals to reprise three of the German sneaker maker’s most iconic shoes: MicroPacer, NMD R1 and Superstar.

Hender Scheme’s Ryo Kashiwazaki has divided sneakerheads with his creations even before this latest collab, when, in 2010, he created some of his favourite kicks strip-down the barest form, all constructed by hand. In particular, his take on Nike’s Air Force 1 high tops caught the fashion sneaker world’s attention. Some people call him a rip-off. Hender Scheme labels it Homage.

For the present salute to adidas Originals’s instantly recognizable styles, released worldwide on 1 September, Sneakerfreakermag calls it a “high-class overhaul”. We don’t see a real revamp with these shoes, but the high-end feel of the make is indisputable. But we’re not sure if these are any longer a class of their own when so many shoe brands have released—in homage, too?—their own take of footwear in unblemished, supposedly un-dyed leather.

MicropacerHender Scheme X Adidas Originals Micropacer

NMD R1Hender Scheme X Adidas Originals NMD R1

SuperstarHender Scheme X Adidas Originals Superstar

Truth be told, we have never tried the Hender Scheme, but we have taken into consideration online complaints (such as this one) that these shoes, spared of the tech used in their original versions, are not terribly comfortable to wear. It is, thus, not outrageous to compare them to raw denim jeans. You probably need some time (months?) to break into them. What struck us is the weight of the shoes. They’re by no means as light as the originals they are based on.

But to most, the deterrent could be in the pricing. These reiterations are sold at more than USD$900 a pop!

So do they, therefore, come with adidas Originals’s sole technology? Hender Scheme is known for complete handwork using very old-school methods of shoe-making. And Adidas won’t say if any of their technologies are incorporated into the collaboration. Looking at the collab’s NMD R1, it seems that it does not sit atop Adidas’s Boost sole.

Despite these shortcomings, shoe freaks are not going to miss the chance to cop one of these, even if only to re-sell them on e-Bay later.

Hender Scheme X Adidas Originals is available at Club 21. Photo: Adidas Originals

Cooking Aid For Feet!

When is a jelly mold not a jelly mold? When it’s a toe mount on Nike Air Force 1 dreamed up by Comme des Garçons 

CDG X Nike Air Force 1

By Shu Xie

I don’t know about you, but I am a little averse to anything with reference to food placed on my feet, or on ground level. Maybe it has everything to do with my mom telling me when I was a kid that although food does come from the earth, there’s no reason to serve it so close to the ground unless I wanted to make friends with germs. Now, germs were a real childhood fear: they kill, or worse, retard growth. I was told that once germs invaded my body, I won’t be able to grow up. What could be more frightening than that? I did not, I should add, have Google search to help dispel that fear.

Fast forward to the present, that fear has turned to dread. Although I am, seriously, not a hypochondriac, and I have, by most accounts, grown up, I still wouldn’t consume food or use a cooking/eating implement that has come near feet or grazed the ground. So, sneakers topped with what appears to be jelly molds—held in place by rivets—are just on the side of disconcerting.

We are, however, living in a time when things can be “re-purposed”, also known by those more enterprising than me as life hacks. When the design team at Comme des Garçons looked at silicon jelly molds, they probably weren’t thinking of the konjac jelly they could cast. The dinosaur shapes are, in their mind, the perfect crown to the Air Force I’s toe box.

I wonder how, in these shoes, does the wearer navigate a crowded MRT train? What becomes of these shaped silicone caps when an unseeing fellow commuter steps on them? Can they be popped back to shape? What does a flattened dinosaur jelly mold look like on the top of a shoe? A squashed agar-agar?

This is not the first time Comme des Garçons added something superfluous and wacky to the top of a Nike classic. As part of the Emoji collection for Holiday 2016, the Air Force 1 sported a band with the heart-smileys of Play stretched across the lacing. Can you imagine Air Force 1 wearer Mark Wahlberg shod in them sneaks secured with a strip of emojis?

Actually, Comme des Garçons did not restrict these dinosaur jelly molds to sneakers. They’re fastened to shirts and jackets, too. Perhaps next to the body, there’s less to fret about floor-level microbes!

Comme des Garçons Homme Plus X Nike Air Force 1 in black or white is available at Dover Street Market Singapore. Photo: Jim Sim