Big Money Luxury Sneakers: The $1,000 Kicks Justin Bieber, John Legend and More Wear
Street meets chic as everyone from Pharrell to John Legend steps out in a new breed of luxury sneaks.
Designer men's sneakers that are every bit as vibrant as the ruby-red Adidas Originals that Pharrell wore at the Academy Awards are blowing up thanks in part to their growing popularity with artists, including ASAP Rocky, a fan of Rick Owens' and Raf Simons' collaborations with Adidas. "The business is on fire," says Eric Jennings, men's fashion director of Saks Fifth Avenue, which devotes the first-floor rotunda of its Beverly Hills men's store to luxury offerings from the likes of Giuseppe Zanotti, Maison Martin Margiela and Paris newcomer Louis Leeman.
Christian Louboutin's "Arizona" High-top sneaker, $995
Jennings says the typically restrained designer sneaker is heading in bolder directions, following the lead of R&B and pop stars who favor vivid colors (think Kanye West's scarlet Air Yeezys), metallic finishes and eye-catching hardware: "They're showing a new way for men to experiment with fashion." Christian Louboutin credits dapper pop star Mika with inspiring his men's sneaker collection. Justin Bieber rocked Margielas in his "Confident" video in January.
And stylist David Thomas, who has worked with John Legend and Chris Brown, says sneakers "are increasingly the focal point of an outfit. I used to start by having guys decide on a jacket, but now I am building outfits around the sneakers."
Jimmy Choo's "Barlowe" High-top sneaker, $1.295
When Legend sang the national anthem at the Rose Bowl in January, Thomas picked a pair of Jimmy Choo glitter and oil slick-patterned patent Barlowe high tops that dictated the rest of the look: dark trousers and a Balenciaga T-shirt topped by a deep purple Versace leather jacket. Unlike a pair of Chuck Taylors, the designer footwear can cost four figures -- Legend's Choo high tops retail for $1,025 -- but "there's no price resistance," says Jennings. "It's crazy."