Just because Prada made it doesn’t mean it’s not a Teva. Miuccia Prada, who regularly insists on bringing the ugly to the runway, did it again with a primary-colored and bejeweled pair to heel her spring collection. To offend further, Prada’s kindergarten colored Tevas were paired with the tube sock equivalent of a leg warmer.
Marc Jacobs had his coastal surfing army shuffling down the catwalk in Tevas, too, though Marc’s were fairly tame in comparison to Italy’s offering. This follows this past spring’s resurgence of the Birkenstock, championed by Céline, which showed up again on the New York runways, though designers like Tibi managed to create a more streamlined version.
What gives? There are better ways to do comfortable and functional that are still presentable. While bad taste is often preferable to no taste – kudos for trying, and everything – those looking to add sparkle needn’t do it literally with bejeweled sandals in a Crayola hue.
Take, for example, the Common Projects sneaker or the Vans slip on, since we are heading into fall; consistent, comfortable shoes with a timeless design that don’t have much to say in the way of bad taste. The opposite of loud, shoes like this will still garner the right kind of attention – namely for style and practicality.
Ah, that’s better.
One favorite footwear brand for fashion savvy men, Common Projects, is now outfitting trendsetting ladies as well. Common Projects, the brainchild of industry alumnae Prathan Poopat (a former art director at Visionaire) and Flavio Girolami, started out as an ingenious alternative to sneakers just a few years ago, and the brand has since become a household name. Their kicks range from sleek rubber-soled leather lace-ups to luxurious dress shoes in modern styles and solid colors. Fans of the footwear appreciate that there’s no obvious logo or branding save for a product code that’s printed by the heel and barely visible. And, as of May this year (yes, it’s July, but better late than never, eh?), Common Projects has started infiltrating womens’ wardrobes.
Overall, in their simplicity and sleekness, the styles are incredibly similar to the men’s. There are pink high-top sneakers (of the chicest variety), desert boots, and flats that channel Repetto at their most pared-down. Most likely to steal the show, however, are the leather soled oxfords. J. Crew recently had to introduce smaller sizes in its men’s brogues as they realized women were buying them up by the dozens. As ladies continue adopting masculine footwear styles (and become increasingly averse to skyscraper heels), Common Projects is poised to gather up a perfectly chic gamine customer base.