Isabel Marant, the designer behind a very specific sneaker era in the 2010s, is relaunching one of her coveted styles and giving it a 2021 update. Named the “Balskee,” this brand new style takes inspiration from the beloved “Bekett,” which you may remember is a wedge sneaker with a gum sole, velcro straps, and padded, puffy tongue.
The throwback style was a massive hit, worn by off-duty models, fashion editors, and celebrities alike. Beyoncé sported a pair in her music video for “Love On Top,” and Rihanna, Gisele Bündchen, Marion Cotillard, Kerry Washington, and more have been spotted in them, too. Since its release nearly a decade ago, more than 200,000 “Bekett” sneakers have been sold worldwide.
“I’ve never stopped wanting to wear them,” says Marant in an official statement. “The most comfortable things are the things you will always wear and that you are never fed up with.”
According to an interview with Fashionista from 2012, just when her sneaker designs took over the celebrity set and fashion’s street style crowds, Marant shared that her creation stemmed from her teenage years, when she used to put cork into her sneakers to appear taller.
“I always thought about this, what I was doing when I was young, and I thought I should really achieve something around this idea,” she told Fashionista. “Sneakers are so comfortable but at the same time it’s not very elegant. To have a little heel in it makes a difference… It’s a balance of fashion and a way of life.”
These days, what was once considered a fashion faux pas is now one of the industry’s bestselling categories. Nearly every high-end designer has released their own sneaker style, and Marant’s latest “Balskee” launch revamps her longtime wedge sneaker with brighter, statement colors (red, green, yellow) and swaps the signature gum sole with a sportier version. The oversized tongue and velcro straps still remain, and the wedge has some added height, as well, totaling almost four inches.
Take a closer look at the “Balskee” sneaker, below, and find your own pair at Isabel Marant stores and its website. If this news makes you long for the older styles again, you can still get those, too.