High fashion has co-opted street style before, but Dior has raised the bar with its Fusion sneakers, first shown during the house’s spring haute couture show in January and newly arrived in its boutiques this month.
A pop-up event at Colette Paris in late June kicked off the global retail rollout, and Tuesday night’s fete at Maxfield in Los Angeles marked the sole U.S. event. (The $1,100 mesh slip-ons also sell at The Webster in Miami, Blake in Chicago and Jeffrey in New York, as well as at Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.)
Dior has a cozy relationship with the storied Los Angeles retailer, having hosted a party for Raf Simons’ first Dior ready-to-wear collection last year and sold out of many of its pieces since then. The four Fusion styles will be at Maxfield until July 24, if they last that long.
“We’re almost sold out and we only started taking preorders on Monday,” said buyer Sarah Stewart. “I bought these straight away; it was the footwear I decided to invest in,” she said. “Dior’s ready-to-wear is so close to couture and the pieces they make are timeless.”
A mesh slip-on may not be considered timeless yet (given where athleticwear is going in the market and in customer’s lives, that may very well change soon), but for Simons, fusing urban influences with the house’s heritage is key. Christian Dior’s love of gardening is reflected in the delicate sequin flowers, paired with futuristic elements like the neon rubber soles.
Meanwhile, Maxfield’s loyal customers gave the Fusion their own spin. Soraya Chuwanich from Thailand bought all four styles. What she doesn’t carry home with her on her annual visits, she enlists celebrity hairstylist Chris McMillan to bring with him when he comes to Thailand once a month to cut her hair.
“I wear sneakers with everything,” she said. “They can be dressy, funky or edgy and work with short or long.” On Tuesday, Chuwanich paired her Fusions with an ankle-length Mary Katrantzou frock and a long Loree Rodkin necklace.
Carol Anne Werner of San Francisco makes frequent trips to Los Angeles to shop at Maxfield. Yet she didn’t want to wait for the store’s event and instead bought two pairs of sneakers at the Dior Beverly Hills boutique earlier in the week. She was eyeing a third pair at Maxfield. “I like heels, too, but I really am excited about these,” Werner said. “It’s something fresh with a different spin and very cleverly done.” She paired her Fusions with Louis Vuitton sequin leggings and a Jil Sander blouse.
Local society maven Toni Wald planned her entire outfit around the Fusions she prepurchased at Maxfield on Monday. “I even got my pants hemmed,” she said of her Saint Laurent suit, worn with an Elder Statesman T-shirt and Chanel necklace. “I’m of the age where I can’t wear high heels anymore so I love something that looks good that I can walk around in, and why not a bejeweled sneaker?”
Producer Dana Garman was looking to update her Céline slides. “I have way too many pairs of [those], since they have been going on for a couple of years now,” she said. She bought two pairs of Fusions, yellow for day and black for night.
And actress Ashley Madekwe, always on hand to play paper doll for a designer, came wearing heels. Still, she called herself “a sneaker girl, Nike Air Max if I’m honest. But I do like the embellishment of these,” Madekwe noted. “I’d wear them with a short leather skirt or girly shorts. I mean, you can’t go wrong with Dior.”
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