Among the many competitive sports in the world, basketball has become more than just a game. It's a cultural institution in its own right. Even if you don't follow the sport or keep tabs on the happenings in and within the NBA, you'd at least be familiar with the likes of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Lebron James—icons whose presence off the courts was just as impactful as in-game scenarios.
Or at the very least, you're currently sporting a pair of sneakers inspired by basketball shoes. Whether it's a pair of Air Jordans or adidas Forums, what was once designed for ultimate performance during a basketball game is now part of the streetwear lexicon. And with all things streetwear, the influence has spilled over into luxury fashion.
Italian fashion house Gucci is, by no means, a new player when it comes to luxury sneakers. Silhouettes like the dadcore-centric Rhytons, the Tennis 1977 (no prizes for guessing what it's inspired by) and the house classic Ace sneakers are now part of the visual vocabulary by creative director Alessandro Michele. And with his penchant for drawing inspirations from multiple sources and cultural contexts (before mashing them all up together), it's little surprise that Gucci has finally come up with its very own interpretation of a luxury basketball-inspired shoe.
Gucci Basket—the name immediately hits without missing a beat. But what's not immediately apparent looking at the pair of high-cut design, is in the sneaker's make. In line with Gucci's strategy for a more sustainable business model by 2025, the Gucci Basket is largely crafted from a new innovative eco-sustainable material. In addition to that, at least 70 percent of the materials used in the sneaker's upper alone are derived from sustainable and renewable sources; Gucci is definitely not playing games with this sneaker.
The design is unmistakably Gucci. While the overall intended look is meant to appear worn and distressed, it's contrasted with high-fluorescent trims in a mixture of materials and textures—especially right around the ankle support, heel cap and tongue.
There's an almost completely white colourway option but the other more colour-block iterations embody Gucci's magpie-esque aesthetic at its finest.
To top it all off, Gucci Basket has been consciously designed to be genderless. It may perhaps be an unnecessary declaration in this day and age—sneakers are just sneakers after all—but it underscores Gucci's values as a non-traditional luxury fashion house.
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