Missoni’s Tie-up With Suicoke Suggests ‘Uncool’ Shoes Are Still Cool

·3 min read

MILAN — Suicoke’s latest collaboration with Italian luxury house Missoni suggests that chunky slides and hiking sandals are still a thing in fashion.

The spring capsule dropping Friday is part of the Japanese hip footwear firm’s serial take on tie-ups.

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“When collaborating with brands…we always strive for creating an unexpected encounter that enables us to not only reach new audiences but also entertain, surprise and build momentum geared toward our existing client base,” said Suicoke brand director Enrico Pasi.

When it comes to Missoni, the brand bought into its knitwear expertise, reinventing the signature Moto chunky slide and Depa hiking sandals by employing Missoni fabrics across the shoe upper, adding the zigzag patterns on the straps and printing Op-art motifs on the footbed — overall conjuring a graphic and pop aesthetic.

“The goal behind the Missoni collaboration was to experiment with knitwear, textures and prints. The brand boasts an extensive knowledge, and we embedded their know-how, glorious heritage, and iconic archives [in the shoes],” Pasi explained.

Each style comes in two colorways and retails for between $320 and $340. The collection launches at Missoni flagships and on both brands’ e-commerce sites before a broader rollout at select retailers.

This is the latest in a series of collaborations Suicoke has championed with cutting-edge fellow Japanese brands, including Takahiromiyashita The Soloist, Bape, Doublet and Fumito Ganryu; luxury labels such as Moncler, Lanvin and Alanui, and specialists like workwear brand Carhartt WIP, unveiled earlier this month, and footwear companies Marsèll and Dr. Martens. It also linked with artist Daniel Arsham.

A style from the Missoni x Suicoke capsule collection. - Credit: Courtesy of Suicoke
A style from the Missoni x Suicoke capsule collection. - Credit: Courtesy of Suicoke

Courtesy of Suicoke

With the many upscale collaborations, one can easily argue Suicoke is enjoying momentum. Pasi acknowledged that it wasn’t an easy feat back in 2006, when the brand was established, to get recognition.

“The stigma of bad taste and missteps with sandals was hard to get rid of. But in the early 2010s the ‘ugly is beautiful’ trend changed all of that and gave a halo of desirability to things that were seen before as overly functional, kitsch, or out of touch with a younger audience,” he explained.

“Getting rid of the ‘uncoolness’ label was not easy, but as always is the case when it comes to fashion, the turning point came when the right people started wearing our styles,” he offered.

The U-turn started in the mid-2010s when the American hip-hop scene rediscovered and referenced Japanese underground cultures and culminated in Kanye West wearing Suicoke’s Moto style during New York Fashion Week in 2016.

A style from the Lanvin x Suicoke capsule collection. - Credit: Courtesy of Suicoke
A style from the Lanvin x Suicoke capsule collection. - Credit: Courtesy of Suicoke

Courtesy of Suicoke

The brand director noted that the next steps entail a stronger push in women’s fashion, with collaborations geared at that audience already in the pipeline. “It’s a market that we haven’t ‘pushed’ that much so far, but rather only touched lightly, but we have an excellent fan base,” he said.

He declined to disclose the brand’s revenues for 2021, but said they increased in the double-digit range.

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