When adidas’ Y-3 collaboration with Yohji Yamamato debuted the ‘Saikou’ during AW18 Paris Fashion Week, it was instantly alluring.
The silhouette taps into the part of sneakerhead-psyche that is lined with Flyknits and Yeezy 350s. It’s the primeknit adoring side of the sneaker world that favours athleisure aesthetics without actually using the carefully tuned and scientifically tweaked soles for running. And that’s fine: a Yeezy Boost 350 is a play on an Ultra Boost; the Ultra Boost is a response to Nike’s market domination on running shoes. Somewhere along that line, fashion overtook function. Again: that’s fine.
The shoes – in all their variety of stages and manifestations – are important because they represent a shift in consumer trends. The people wanted minimalism. They wanted sleek, flattened runners with ultra lightweight connotations. These sorts of shoes evolved from running and found themselves on everyone’s feet, with sales selling out in seconds and resale markets flourishing.
But there was something about the style, or at least, the proliferation of the style, that a lot of people didn’t like. Like anything that’s expensive – which, taking Yeezy’s for example, weren’t initially until resale markets grew – they became a fast track to clout. New money, a quick purchase. The market saturation and omnipresence of the shoe overshadowed what the initial interest was, and that was small groups of people on Reddit and the like, discussing the various pros and cons of materials like TPU, sharing videos of how to alter the aesthetic of the Ultra Boost’s plastic cages, and comparing the weight of entire shoes – to the gram! – with the enthusiasm of frugal drug dealers. The community was lost in sensationalism.
Still, though, these groups exist, but their eyes are set on different prizes. For the far more fashion inclined, there’s the models, like the Y-3 Saikou, that play on the original interest. The Saikou is more low key and less widespread than certain Yeezys, demanding a bit of market research before a purchase. It’s futuristic, thanks to black and white Primeknit uppers, and the Boost midsoles guarantee comfort – it’s in every way an Ultra Boost, but blessed with that Yohji flair.
There’s a few pairs left at Pockets, and because there’s not many left, there’s a nice bit of discount on them.