Even though there are plenty of things to loathe about Saint Laurent creative director Hedi Slimane, his appreciation for and understanding of rock and roll culture and style has never been one of them, at least for me. I spent most of my tweens and teens absolutely dying to be in a punk band, or at least look like a person who might one day be in a punk band, so in that regard, Hedi and I are somewhat kindred spirits. Rockers and punks wear more athletic shoes than you might think, which is probably what brought about the Saint Laurent Leather Sneakers, but you should still skip them and go for the originals.
Although I’m a supporter of the designer sneaker movement when it yields luxurious, embellished, detailed kicks unlike those that you can find from an athletic brand, there are some things that just can’t (and don’t need to be) improved upon. For example, I don’t need anyone to invent a new pair of Converse Chuck Taylors, and wearing a gussied-up $600 version of those shoes isn’t going to make anyone look cool. You know what really looks cool? Someone who confidently pairs $40 sneakers with a high-end outfit, indicating to the world that she knows exactly how that whole tricky high-low mixing thing works.
At their essence, these shoes are no different than a pair of of good ol’ K-Swiss sneakers, and at least when you get those dirty, it won’t be a $600 tragedy. Pick ‘em up (in a pleasantly minimal version) for $70 via FootSmart.com, or if you just have to have these, buy them via Net-a-Porter for $575.