The most indelible mark French designer Isabel Marant has made on the fashion world thus far has undoubtedly been the sneaker wedge. The style became pretty ubiquitous once Marant introduced it in 2012 — both her own comfortably chic (and expensive) design, as well as a bevy of knock-offs by everyone from Ash to Steve Madden to Skechers.
But as is not uncommon with knock-offs, the cheaper versions have, for some, tainted the original. Our own Stephanie admitted to Racked recently that a pair of cobalt Bobbys she bought on sale gave her pretty quick buyer’s remorse, mostly just because they didn’t seem as special as they used to be (though cute, nonetheless). But the real sign the design may be losing its appeal? Marant herself is hesitant to pick them up these days.
After describing the knock-offs as “super-ugly,” she told Footwear News, “I don’t wear them as often as I [used to] because I see too [many bad copies] in the street. I’m not saying mine are the most beautiful shoes, but they have a certain [style]. And on the weekends, I’m so happy to have them because I feel so good in them. I don’t want to throw them out.”
But, she says that there is still a market for them, even if she and Steph are (kind of) over it: “People want [the original]. I’m still selling a lot.”
Yet, she’s not planning to ride on the success of that style. For pre-fall, she’s introduced a slightly flatter, more minimalist athletic-inspired shoe: a court-like silhouette done in a luxe leopard. While we’re on the fence about the leopard, we have to admit the shape is pretty appealing. Ditto the “ugly-chic” shower slide-esque sandals she showed for spring.
We’ll definitely be keeping our eyes on the footwear at her upcoming fall 2014 show. But for now, click through the gallery to see the new sneaker in additional colorways.