“I’m heading out for groceries! Be back in a bit,” says your roommate as he heads out on a beautiful, golden sunny morning in New York City. He goes out in the most comfortable attire possible: baseball cap, hoodie, sweatpants, and Gucci Horsebit Loafers.
“Wait a second! why are you wearing those shoes instead of sneakers?” You inquire. Your roommate replies enthusiastically: “Haven’t you heard? It’s the Post-Sneaker World!”
This scenario is an extreme example of what the Post-Sneaker World is (the outfit is outright ridiculous) but, it’s certainly not too far off from the idea of its visionaries: Lawrence Schlossman and James Harris, hosts of the hype-meets-fashion podcast Throwing Fits. Let’s get some terms out of the way to figure out what the Post-Sneaker World is.
Schlossman and Harris both started their careers in Fashion and Media at Complex, and went their separate ways when Schlossman ran the Four Pins menswear site (owned by Complex), and Harris went on to manage Complex Style. In these jobs, both of them were able to express their enthusiasm for the Fashion industry: “We felt like we held up a mirror to the fashion industry, both to lampoon it, but also express our enthusiasm for it,” explains Harris in an interview with Mr. Porter. Schlossman then became Brand Director of the menswear resell site Grailed while Harris worked at Snapchat as an Editorial Development Specialist, where they both felt they didn’t possess the voice they wanted to express their passion for “jawnz.”
So what are jawnz, exactly? Schlossman describes it as any fire gear: Raf Simons tee, Maison Margiela Jacket, Yohji Yamamoto Parka — and not just hype clothing, but anything that sparks the serotonin in your brain (and others). The Throwing Fits hosts describe themselves and their audience as “jawnz enthusiasts,” and their goal, according to the podcast’s description itself, is to “navigate the millennial male zeitgeist.” It’s in this navigation that Schlossman and Harris came up with the Post-Sneaker World.
Hype culture is still prevalent today — it is especially evident in a brand like Supreme. Every Thursday, people hungry for the latest Supreme drop line up at the brand’s New York City location at 190 Bowery, the majority of which resell their newly bought jawnz at reselling websites like StockX and Grailed. Fresh drops at Supreme can resell for twice the retail price and much more, that the brand’s culture itself seems lost.
“When every kid thinks that they’re an entrepreneur and employs the dark arts to cop six pairs of the most coveted sneakers in the world, and then flips them because they think they’re the next fucking Benjamin Kickz, it becomes about conspicuous consumerism. It’s all about flexing on the ‘gram. It becomes more and more mass. It’s just spun out of control,” Harris says in an interview with Highsnobiety Editorial Director, Jian DeLeon.
For Schlossman and Harris, the Post-Sneaker World is an environment that holds brands accountable for the products they put out; brands like Nike and Adidas can put out the most hyped-up shoes on the market, but what about the quality and craftsmanship? Sneakers made with much better materials and designs can be easily forgotten by consumers who only look at sneakers that are considered “hype.” General Release (GR) sneakers by other brands like New Balance and Asics can be just as influential if not more than the most coveted sneakers on the market. The Post-Sneaker World is not about the elimination of wearing sneakers, but it’s a way of knowing that there are other quality sneakers (and products) out there.
This world is coming soon; NPD Senior Industry Advisor Matt Powell thinks people are much less concerned about having the latest and greatest sneaker on the market. It looks like, with the Post-Sneaker World, people are about to get more informed and educated about their purchasing decisions. But, it’s also important to point out which sneakers people should look for when the time comes (or even starting now, if you will.) Without further ado, these 4 designer sneakers belong in the Post-Sneaker World.
Sleek Silhouette: Common Projects Achilles Low
The legendary luxury sneaker itself, but only to certain eyes. This sneaker is so sleek that it’s become acceptable to pair them with a suit; made with high-quality leather from Italy with just enough branding with gold letters signifying the shoe’s size and color on the side (which made the brand recognizable), it is the epitome of the elevation of one’s style.
Common Projects is the love child of former V Magazine Art Director Peter Poopat, and Brand Consultant Flavio Girolami, who promise to continue producing a sneaker that is both clean and timeless.
Sneaker with a Statement: Maison Margiela German Army Trainer (GAT) Replica
There’s a reason this sneaker is called the “Replica.” The German Army Trainer has deep roots in the Bundeswehr — or, as the name itself says, the German Army.
Adidas and Puma were responsible for creating a sneaker that was fit for the German Army in the ’80s and ’90s, which eventually led its way to consumers after there was a surplus of unused pairs of GAT’s. Acclaimed Fashion designer Martin Margiela was able to acquire a pair from this surplus, brought it to his team, and transformed the GAT into an upscale sneaker made with Calfskin leather. Today, the Replica has become one of the most iconic sneakers in Fashion, with variations of the sneaker featuring unique paint-splatter details that differ with each pair.
Gothic Grunge: Rick Owens Geobasket
One of the most iconic sneakers in the “Rick Owens-esque” lifestyle and sneaker culture in general. Fans of the brand embody its avant-garde and grungy appeal, which can be seen in the Geobasket sneaker created for the Rick Owens Spring/Summer 2006 collection (originally called the Dustulator Dunk but was later changed by the brand when Nike thought the sneaker was too similar to their Dunk sneaker.)
Featuring a hi-top silhouette in white and black, oversized tongue, a padded ankle, and side-zip detailing, the Geobasket can bring out the inner grunge in you — perfect with a pair of black skinny jeans.
The Inner Rockstar: Saint Laurent SL/06
The rockstar gene has been imbued in the ethos of Saint Laurent since Hedi Slimane entered the French label, and it has largely stayed even with his departure. Enter the SL/06 Court Classic sneaker which looks like you’ve worn them a considerable amount of time from the off-white color and intentionally distressed canvas upper that screams nonchalance.