You can attribute the rise of the dad sneaker to Balenciaga, after creative director Denma Gavasaglia ignited fashion’s streetwear obsession with the Triple-S in 2017. The iconic chunky-soled sneaker has since inspired myriad knock-offs and been worn by everyone from Pharrell to Bella Hadid. Balenciaga’s success didn’t go unnoticed, and its contemporaries soon launched various sneakers mimicking the burly shape and retro styling of the Triple-S’ design.
For Spring/Summer 2020, Gavasaglia is resetting things with the Zen, a slim and compact sneaker that sits somewhere between a soccer boot and a kung-fu slipper. Its steamlined shape is complemented by a slim quilted upper, in contrast with the chunkier offerings from the past few years, and its monochromatic palette makes for a versatile option in various settings. A lightweight construction seals the deal by promising improved comfort.
Drawing its inspiration from human anatomy, the Tyrex is the louder, bolder counterpoint to the Zen. Its last is based off classic dress shoes for a slim and refined profile, but this is tempered by an elaborately constructed upper that evokes the human musculature with its design. The Tyrex is even more impressive when observed up close. Scrutiny reveals a clever play of different materials that are seamlessly combined into a single structure despite their varying weights and tactility. The irony here – and perhaps the biggest selling point – is that the Tyrex is made without any animal leather, nevermind the influence of human musculature on its design. It’s a small but certainly mindful step towards a more sustainable future.
Available from the Balenciaga boutique at 01-01 Paragon and balenciaga.com
Photography: Cher Him
Styling: Chia Wei Choong