For many years now, the fashion industry has yet to resolve a huge dilemma: genderless shoes. Athletic footwear brands have been trying to look into this matter; and in fact, they are marketing their merchandise as gender-neutral as the next generation of fashion followers moves into the new era of athleisure and individualism.
This new generation is going to wear whatever they want. This shifting attitude has been witnessed with the likes of Jaden Smith who posed in a leather jacket and an embellished skirt in a 2016 women’s Louis Vuitton campaign. In an interview with Nylon, he opined: “The world is going to keep bashing me for whatever I do, and I’m going to keep not caring. I’m going to keep doing the same things – I’m going to keep doing more things. And in five years when a kid goes to school wearing a skirt, he won’t get beat up and kids won’t get mad at him. It just doesn’t matter. I’m taking the brunt of it so that later on, my kids and the next generation of kids will all think that certain things are normal that weren’t expected before my time.”
Vogue is also clearly aware of the new euphemism of being gender neutral when back-together-again couple Gigi Hadid and Zayn Milk covered the August 2017 cover with the headline: “Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik Are Part of a New Generation Embracing Gender Fluidity.”
It is clear that every player in the fashion industry wants to be part of bringing this ‘idea’ of genderless fashion from the fringes to the mainstream — from the likes to Rick Owens whose shows often leave you questioning if they are men’s or women’s to Thom Browne’s half tuxedo, half bridal gown look for his Spring 2018 menswear show.
Now with the rise of athleisure and androgynous fashion, Fendi joins the foray with its new genderless luxury sneakers dubbed to be the next big thing in fashion. The Italian luxury brand continues to move forward with the launch of Fancy Fendi that combines style and functionality in a funky way in line with the trending gender-fluid cult fashion that circles the millennials.
Presented for the first time in the Fall/Winter 2018/2019 collection, the Fancy Fendi are hi-tech sneakers that mesh urban style and streetwear fashion. There is a strong sense of sportiness marked by the solid and clear design features. A chunky rubber sole with a cushioned gel bubble that embraces a multilayered mix of materials across the upper part highlights the silhouette. Taking a closer look, the craftsmanship of the sneakers showcases a great deal of expertise and attention to details.
Materiality also plays an important role in ensuring great mobility and flexibility. From the use of light fabrics, soft leather and transparent net, sneakers are taking on a more futuristic and luxurious appeal these days. Christian Louboutin also echoes the same trend earlier this year with a collection of casual shoes that are suitable for both genders. These sneakers focus on the idea of aesthetics and functionality and are not defined by either masculine or feminine appeal, but its comfort and unique features.
Gucci has also released a him-and-her shoe range for couples who are looking for stylish matching pairs to take to the streets. Even though both shoes look somewhat the same, the structure of the shoes is still defined by gender. But exterior-wise, the lookalike sneakers or loafers take on a more classic approach on a monotone base with Gucci emblems like the buckles, bees, tigers and stripes to characterise the shoes.
Fancy Fendi, however, takes it to the next level by offering the exact shoe design befitting for both genders. The only thing that makes them different is the colour combination. Fancy Fendi sneakers are available in a wide range of colour combinations from tone-on-tone to multicolour, to fit various style preferences and attitudes.
Look out for three special models, all characterised by rope style shoelaces and natural palettes with contrasting colour touches. These include a black Fancy Fendi with spots of red and white, another one with juxtaposed shades of grey and brow, and the third is a light grey and white sneaker with black counter and a splash of Fendi yellow on the cushioned bubble gel.
While it is too big of a claim to say that the Fancy Fendi is probably the ‘first genderless luxury sneakers’ in the fashion scene, it is clear that the brand is moving into a new form of luxury streetstyle that encompasses the contemporary lifestyle of the followers of fashion today. With their sporty and urban flair, the Fancy Fendi has positioned itself as a purveyor of must-have kicks for all the young and cool sneaker-addicts that fancy great design, high-quality materials and unparalleled practicality. And we foresee other brands to follow suit with similar concepts of a one-kind-fits-all category of shoes.