Isabel Marant Jumps on the Ugly-Chic Shoe Bandwagon

She did her version of a Birkenstock for Spring 2014 -- and now comes a slide from the Etoile collection.
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She did her version of a Birkenstock for Spring 2014 -- and now comes a slide from the Etoile collection.
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It seems even Isabel Marant, purveyor of all things French cool, can't resist getting into the "ugly" shoe game. For Spring 2014, she sent her version of a classic Birkenstock down the runway, festooned with grommets, cute little bow-ties details and wrap-around ankle straps.

And now comes this cute little Birk/shower slide hybrid, called the "Holden," from the Etoile Spring 2014 collection. The criss-cross straps, while vaguely reminiscent of a style from Céline Spring 2013 (aka the collection that started it all), actually remind us more of those old man Chinatown slippers that everyone co-opted in the '90s.

Miu Miu Spring 1996 ad starring Chloe Sevigny and shot by Juergen Teller

Miu Miu Spring 1996 ad starring Chloe Sevigny and shot by Juergen Teller

This whole footwear movement (and it is such by now) is of course steeped in late 20th century nostalgia. It was a time when X-Girl, a minimalist line of A-line skirts and baby T-shirts designed by Kim Gordon and Daisy von Furth, ruled. Back then, the duo even staged a guerrilla fashion show on the streets of New York City -- and what were the It girl models, such as Ione Skye, sporting on their feet? Yes, slides -- ones very much like these. An eagle-eyed fashion editor friend also recently pointed out that Miu Miu actually produced a pair similar to the Etoile ones for its Spring 1996 collection, modeled in the ad campaign by Chloe Sevigny (who was also an X-Girl fit model).

The whole attitude of this style, including athletic ones from Converse and Adidas, both vintage and new, is one of don't-care ease, which plays perfectly with slouchy separates or, honestly, whatever. To bring the point home, Freja Beha Erichsen looks enviably both relaxed and stylish in a pair of Nike slip-ons in Vogue UK's January 2014 issue.

If you really want the Marant version, they go for $510 and are available at Matches, Net-a-Porter UK and the Isabel Marant SoHo store (call 212-219-2284).