Mark: e products x LAND
Release date: October 1st
Price: 42,900 (approximately $ 383)
To buy: Nubien, GR8, Nightjars
Editor’s Notes: We see a lot of weird shoes here at Highsnobiety, from Kanye’s shoe experiences to high fashion madness and everything in between. The collaborative shoe from products & GROUNDS is particularly odd, because it is both incredibly familiar and unlike anything else out there.
Let’s go back before we move forward, however. GROUNDS, formerly known as GIDDY UP, is an experimental footwear brand operated by Japanese designer Mikio Sakabe.
Sakabe, who also operates his wacky eponymous fashion line, led GROUNDS ‘bulbous air-sole sneakers to fairly rapid success, as evidenced by a recent collaboration with Walter Van Beirendonck.
The products, on the other hand, are the reborn brand of designer Taro Horiuchi, focused on practical, simple, and perhaps even a little understated men’s and women’s clothing. That’s good for Horiuchi, who is almost more interested in clothes as a utility than as a statement.
It seems unlikely to me, but hey, so does Fendace.
The x GROUNDS products came together on the simple ’02’, which actually looks like a happy medium between every designer’s wheelhouse.
On the one hand, there’s a sober moc-toed mid-top in beige or brown suede, completed with leather laces and an insole.
On the other hand, GROUNDS has placed this sufficiently sophisticated shoe on its “Jewelry” sole, creating an ultra-cushioning hybrid shape that is both traditional and technological.
The resulting “02” is a little Cole Haan, a little Prada, a little VaporMax, a little Wallabee, not really leaning too far into a camp and ending up feeling more than a weird little valley.
Given that GROUNDS has made some very original designs in the past, this collaborative shoe seems like a deliberately pulled punch. So much the better, because the resulting design is an enticing mixture of limited wear and reasonable accessibility.
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