How the Stan Smith Became the Ultimate Fashion Shoe

No shoe has captured the attention of the fashion world over the past few years quite like the Stan

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Footwear
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No shoe has captured the attention of the fashion world over the past few years quite like the Stan Smith. Although the style has been around since 1971, a 2014 reissue following a two-year absence from the shelves reinvigorated interest from the expected sneaker aficionados and the high-fashion set alike, and before long Yohji Yamamoto, Jeremy Scott and Raf Simons were just a few of the designers who had designed their own versions of the classic shoe. Now, i-D has charted this rise, examining exactly how this standard tennis sneaker became a fashion staple. Find an excerpt below and be sure to head over to the i-D site to read the full piece.

The shoe has a pretty deep history in street culture, and rap music. There are 578 results for Stan Smiths on Genius. You’ve heard Jarren Benton’s ‘My Adidas’ – “I’m a sneaker addict and I need a fix, Polo with these Stan Smiths.” But have you caught the frequent references to the shoe in Lil Wayne’s oeuvre? And have you heard French rapper La Fouine’s track ‘Stan Smith’, which pivots around the lyric: ‘I’m preparing a classic like Stan Smith!’?

Like many trends (including the military jacket, the mary jane shoe, and fancy flannels), the co-opting of the Stan Smith as a fashion shoe may have originated with Marc Jacobs. The classic white and green ones were his shoe of choice throughout his unassuming pre-makeover period. Along with a navy sweater, baggy pants, and clear spectacles, they comprised a look that was very “designer off duty” – the uniform of someone who is too busy to think about clothing. He wore the outfit on the runway in 2004 and on Oprah in 2006.

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