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The transformation of sneakers into mules

The sneaker-mule seems to have become the silhouette of the season, framed within an emerging phenomenon reinterpreted by the fashion system and stylized (or versioned) by the insiders who inhabit it.

The transformation of sneakers into mules

Sophistication and urban informality merge in these sneakers that are now deconstructed and shed all the structure that surrounds the heel to offer endless summer options to sneakerheads who don’t want to give them up even in summer.

Seeming to evoke one of the last expressions of the ugly fashion movement, mules in sneaker form are reimagined by major luxury houses such as Balenciaga, the last brand to transform its iconic Triple S, apparently obsolete in the collective imagination, in order to resurrect it in another updated format. That flame that seemed to be extinguished in those shoes, Demna also wanted to rekindle it with his 3XL and HD, as well as with his coveted Track, which also went through that process of radicalization.


But it doesn’t end there. Just a few weeks ago, MM6 Maison Margiela and Salomon also unveiled a mule version of the XT-4 as part of the brand’s Resort 2024 collection. Although if there has been any clog that has revolutionized the scene, turning this seemingly anti-aesthetic silhouette into something cool, it was the Shox MR 4 that Martine Rose brought out in 2022. A disruptive version of the British-Jamaican designer that she recently extended for London Fashion Week, also represented in her ode to inclusivity on the soccer field alongside Nike: a new series redesigned in gradient panels of colors inspired by the aesthetics of 90s goalkeeper jerseys.

Beyond the iconic mule signed by Rose, other contemporary cult brands such as Acne Studios also reinterpreted their Leather Slip-On, entering the immensity of this viral current in which Lanvin, Off-White™, adidas and New Balance were equally immersed by remastering some of their most representative silhouettes, such as the 2002RM or the Out Of Office.

In this sense, the success of mules in the sneaker key -or vice versa- could reside in the latent trend of a global aesthetic directed towards the formality of fashion in which it is presented as a hybrid that could revive the sneaker culture or make it evolve into a new era.

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