What the shirt is to garments, the low-top sneaker has become to footwear. Classic, versatile and forming the fundamental DNA of a wardrobe, while the mighty minimalist may appear simple in its aesthetic, the evolution of its design and finesse has seen the low-top become fashion’s favourite footwear. Reaching new heights with its styling potential, old rules no longer apply as it bridges the gap between form and function, smart and downtime, playing big to its unassuming sartorial insouciance.
Retro elements to this trend abound with the insatiable surge of Adidas Originals’ Stan Smiths – a poster child for chic minimalism and one of the ultimate fashion co-opts in footwear history. While it’s always a good idea to have several pairs of Stan Smiths on the go – think one pair pristine and one pair lived-in – there are also plenty of key designers giving a nod to this iconic style in their interpretations; look to Paul Smith and Alexander McQueen for their takes. And, doubling down on the trend, Gucci puts a more extroverted spin on the '70s-style 'go faster'-striped sneaker with the Ace.
Meanwhile, for the more modern minimalist, the Achilles by Flavio Girolami and Prathan Poopat – the design duo behind cult brand Common Projects – breaks new ground with its clean, understated silhouette, now synonymous with a more elevated trainer shoe. Perhaps one of the most Instagrammed sneakers of the moment, a key mainstay on the street style circuit and certainly deserving of many a care guide, through the sheer beauty of its design, the Achilles demands to be kept in near-pristine condition. And while a good place to start is with the classic white Achilles, it does come in an array of covetable shades – from eraser pink to dove grey – each making the perfect addition to a collection.
Erring more on the sports-luxe side, for sneakers that keep it closer to the roots, look to Saint Laurent’s Classic Courts in suede and SL/01 studded leather, Valentino’s Tennis Stripe sneakers or Lanvin’s Baskets, to tip the scales towards a more activewear approach.