Fendi’s latest loafer-sneaker pushes the ‘ugly pretty’ shoe agenda | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

fendi loafer sneakers men’s spring summer 2025
Art by Angela Chen

Move over, Junya Watanabe x New Balance sneaker loafer, Fendi’s hybrid footwear is here to match your freak


If you thought the reign of the polarizing loafer-sneaker hybrid is over, you are deeply mistaken. Months after Junya Watanabe debuted his internet-breaking collaboration with New Balance featuring the “loaferized” 1906R—the New Balance 1906L—Italian luxury fashion house Fendi came out with its own version at its Men’s Spring-Summer 2025 show in Milan.

READ: How to wear short shorts now, according to the Men’s Spring-Summer 2025 shows



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While the New Balance loafer is practically made of sneaker materials like mesh, Silvia Venturini Fendi’s take is more formal, constructed with a leather upper and sturdier sole. Watanabe’s runway piece was in kelly green, adding to the confusion of people online as to why such a “divisive” creation must make it out of the woodwork. Fendi’s is decisively more somber, opting for neutral beige-brown, all-brown, and all-black colorways to go with the collection’s color palette of tan, black, white, navy, olive, and sage.

Photo courtesy of Fendi


Call it the luxury version of the New Balance 1906Ls or even a descendant of Eytys’ chunky Angelo penny loafer from 2018.

Last month, the creators of the viral New Balance hybrids said in an interview they were influenced by a shift towards more formalwear in men’s fashion. “[F]ormalwear was coming through but… no one was willing to sacrifice comfort anymore. That’s why this shoe feels like the right product at the right time. It’s literally the best of both worlds,” said Lani Perry, New Balance’s senior product manager.

Fendi’s clientele is obviously a different crowd from New Balance’s younger, more trends-oriented market. The former may be more concerned about the quality of the leather used in a shoe and least about the five-figure price tag of an otherwise polarizing product. For all we know, they may not at all be interested in hybrids. But hey, if it means a luxury fashion house is down to push the “ugly pretty” shoe agenda, and possibly legitimize its stake in the cultural zeitgeist then we’re here for it.


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