Kellen Fredrickson // Feb 5, 2019
We’ve arrived at a crossroads here in 2019.
Last year was one of true breakout for sneaker culture. More prominent, pervasive, and expressive than ever before.
Whether you consider yourself a classicist, a futurist, or anti-establishmentarian, there was something for you to lace up in 2018.
In many ways, experimentation went arguably too far. We saw shoes get chunkier, flashier, and simply odder than ever before.
Balenciaga’s Triple S sneaker showed us that unsightly dad shoes were not the last word in oversized footwear, and not only could they be distinctive, but that they could be successful.
Nike proved that you can stick to the classics while offering new silhouettes, and that timeless design can come from the past, present, or the future.
For adidas, futurecraft showed us what four-dimensional printing was capable of achieving, and that science can influence fashion, and vice versa.
But this is not a retrospective. Despite the intro, this is about how we move forward from here. This is about who is taking all the lessons learned and putting them into action.
Who else but Yohji Yamamoto would be the one up to the task?
A true veteran of pushing the limits of form and function, Y-3 is no stranger to taking a step out of bounds and proving that being a bit mad is not only a good thing, but often times is the best thing.
During Paris Fashion Week, there were a multitude of exciting new silhouettes that debuted on the runway to critical acclaim.
But our job isn’t to break the news first. It’s to procure the best of the best, and bring that to the reader.
Y-3’s new Hokori women's silhouette is quite simply genius in design.
It’s unmistakably on trend with its slightly beefier outsole unit. The sleek lines are complimentary to a multitude of trouser selections. And the eyeleted upper is incredibly reminiscent of classic sneakers you’d see on the NBA hardwood circa 1979.
The wildest part is that all of these separate motifs convalesce in a single design, which isn’t only intriguing to behold, but quite frankly cool as hell to look at.
A lot of shoes have tried to walk this line, unsuccessfully so I might add. And especially with Y-3, it often feels like overbranding can stifle the natural cool of a given shoe.
But not this one.
The Hokori strikes me as a shoe that can do it all.
An enthusiast in California will throw on a pair of baggy shorts and tube socks and rock these on the pier.
Some Y-3 savant in Toronto will lace these with a smart pair of waxed jeans and stomp through inclement weather.
In Seoul, some influencer will go full avant-garde and rock a set of oversized cropped suiting trousers with the Hokori sitting proudly at the base.
And in every case, it will look good.
This is the future of footwear. Not something that pushes one thematic element to the extreme, but rather a subset of shoe that is somehow equally comfortable doing it all at once, and looking effortless in the process.