A Sneaker With a Built-In Puddle


During fashion week, we will be spotlighting the small details we saw on the runways that surprised or delighted us. Bring on the sculptural shoes and antique fork jewelry.

PARIS — Here is something tricky to accomplish in a shoe: Reminding anyone who sees it that overconsumption and waste are warming the planet and destroying the earth’s natural resources — melting the ice caps, polluting the oceans and so forth. While also making the wearer look really cool.

If any brand can pull that off, it’s Botter, a young Parisian label that uses the taglines “aquatic world” and “Caribbean couture” to describe a sunny design sensibility mashed together from Dutch coolness and island realness. According to the brand, one of its designers, Rushemy Botter, was born on Curaçao and later lived in a fishing village outside Amsterdam; the other, Lisi Herrebrugh, has shuttled between the Netherlands and the Dominican Republic, where she has family.

Their names may also sound familiar as finalists for the 2018 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers and as artistic directors at Nina Ricci for three years, until this past January. Earlier this year, they also won the Andam Fashion Award; Harry Styles wore one of their argyle polo shirts knitted from recycled plastic hair-beads on a cover of Rolling Stone.

So they’ve got momentum. It’s no surprise that this season, for a show devoted to the concept of bringing water to the runway — including on some models who wore large condoms filled with liquid around their wrists, forming a kind of extraordinary bouncy blob glove — they debuted a shoe with strong internet-meltdown potential as part of a continuing collaboration with Adidas.

The soccer sneakers (in the Predator Edge. 1 style) — developed with the Dutch footwear designers Studio Hagel — have a puddle of resin molded around the soles. They came in black or neon orange (technically “solar red,” to Adidas), though the traffic-cone-color version was far more eye-catching.

The models who wore them looked, from afar, like they were wearing flippers. Up close, they more closely resembled melting ice cubes. Botter wanted the shoes to “feel like they’re floating in tranquil water moving gracefully,” according to its show notes.

But paired with other pieces, like a frozen block of discarded plastic bags made into a handbag, that tranquillity shifted more into existential dread.

Still, accessories with a conscience that look more interesting than Toms slip-ons: That’s a good thing.





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