Shoes follow in the footsteps of “cartoons”


Big Red Boots, MSCHF.

As soon as they were revealed, on February 6, they were the subject of countless memes, these diverted images calibrated to attract attention on social networks. Montages like the one where we see them worn by the late Elizabeth II. Called Big Red Boots, the oversized vermilion boots designed by New York collective MSCHF are inspired by the shoes of Astro Boy, Osamu Tezuka’s manga character. Immediately identifiable, are they practicable? “Going down stairs with it is treacherous, as if you were in danger of tipping over”, discourage him Wall Street Journal, which a reporter was able to slip his feet inside “spongy” of the pair.

Whatever. By pushing the cartoonish effect to the maximum, MSCHF, already noticed in 2021 for (fake) Birkenstocks made from leather from (genuine) Hermès bags, has succeeded. Fifteen days after the release of the red rubber model, the label managed to “generate the equivalent of $14.8 million (i.e. 14 million euros) of media impact, says one within the Launchmetrics data platform.

Cartoon character looks

This feeling completes the consecration of the phenomenon of “cartoonization” of the shoe which has been developing for several months. Exuberant Minnie Mouse-style pumps at Loewe, neon and translucent sneakers that give the illusion that its wearer has the power to walk on water at Botter, candy pink platforms at Shang Xia… The spring-summer 2023 collections are full of unlikely propositions that make adults look like cartoon characters.

Botter, spring-summer 2023 collection.
Loewe x Minnie Mouse, spring-summer 2023 collection.

While it is common for brands to offer in stores wiser and more commercial variations than the models in the parade, this kind of extravagance “Comes directly from the catwalk and is coveted by a fashion clientele who wants a shoe that throws”, observes Liane Wiggins, womenswear buyer for Matches Fashion: “A fortiori since we have witnessed the recent return of ready-to-wear tailoring, sober and well made. This can encourage you to invest in a flashy shoe to electrify your look. » She notes an appetite, among consumers of the online sales site, for teenage babies (the Bulla Babies by Nodaleto), or pumps with bows that would not denote Jessica Rabbit (the Agata by Gucci, the Bow sandal by Loewe).

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“I have always been a fan of manga”, says Sandra Choi, the artistic director of Jimmy Choo, who has just drawn a collaboration with the Sailor Moon franchise, launched in 1992. For this, she was able to discuss with the author of the saga, Naoko Takeuchi, before giving life in 3D, thanks to an Italian manufacture, to certain shoes of the heroines of the cartoon. Result ? Iridescent loafers with heels, snapping green lace-up boots, cyan blue patent leather ankle boots… “Shoes have always played an integral role in the metamorphosis of superheroines”, emphasizes Sandra Choi.

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