By Jake Woolf.
In 2017, velcro, off-the-walls color schemes, and chunky soles are what's happening in sneakers. But there's a more niche trend bubbling right now that hasn't been around since you were about thirteen: sneakers defaced with doodles, scribbles, and phrases as a way to give them their own one-of-a-kind flavor. Over the past few months, these designed-all-over shoes have popped up on some of the most influential runways and on the feet of some of the most stylish famous guys we know.
DIY sneakers aren't a new concept in fashion. After all, punk's nonconformist aesthetic was built on personal touches, from ripped-and-repaired tees to hand-painted leather jackets and fucked-up Chucks. In the early '00s, Maison Margiela sold its then-new German Army Trainers with drawings on them that were done by the brand's staff (and likely in some cases, the elusive Martin Margiela himself). In recent years those kicks have reached grail status amongst collectors. Earlier this year, Vetements (a brand with a head designer that once worked at Margiela) released a doodled-up version of the Reebok InstaPump Fury, which retails for over $700—and is currently sold out everywhere.
While Reebok's sneaker has been worn by a certain breed of trendy celebrity and Instagram "influencers," there are also plenty of bold-face names who've stayed pure with custom versions of their own kicks. Swaggy P wore a pair of doodled-on Adidas Crazy Explosive high-tops during the NBA Three-Point Contest last month in New Orleans. And for the past few months, underground style god Shia LaBeouf has been wearing some Nike Tennis classics that feature various markings.
What's most surprising about this trend is that it goes against everything "sneaker culture" is about in 2017. It means actually wearing the sneakers you buy, and also intentionally treating them crap. Unlike the brushes and waterproof sprays that keep Jordans and Yeezys looking box-fresh forever, this trend is about personalizing a pair of shoes in a haphazard—but also immensely fun—way. Now, for the record, the idea of dropping $700 on some pre-scribbled sneakers seems a little silly to us. But if you wanna grab a pair of basic white sneakers and have at it with a sharpie, now's a better time than ever.
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This story originally appeared on GQ.
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