The Duchess of Cambridge – much like Alessandra Ambrosio and Alexa Chung – is obsessed with these £50 trainers…
Kate Middleton – that’s the Duchess of Cambridge, to you and I – is one of the world’s foremost fashion icons. Indeed, the “Kate effect” has become a well-established term in the fashion industry, as it’s the best way to describe the impact she has on designer and high street brands: if Kate is spotted out and about in an £89 & Other Stories dress on a Sunday, you can bet that said dress will have completely sold out on a Monday – and that savvy shoppers will be listing the same frock on eBay at sky high prices.
So, when it became apparent that the royal has been favouring one classic sneaker brand in particular, of course people sat up and paid attention. After all, these are the same people that named Meghan Markle’s £115 sustainable trainer of choice THE “world’s hottest shoes”: they love nothing more than a stylish royal in a pair of sneaks.
On Monday 20 May, Kate made a surprise visit to the ‘Back to Nature Garden’ at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which she created alongside award-winning landscape architects Andrée Davies and Adam White.
Dressed to explore, the duchess wore a pair of £69.95 button-down culottes by Massimo Dutti, which she paired with a £255 Mabel Broderie-Anglaise Cotton Shirt by M.I.H Jeans. Keeping things practical (Kate climbed into a tree house during her visit), she finished off her look with a pair of classic but cool white Superga trainers – the very same pair favoured by the likes of Alexa Chung and Alessandra Ambrosio.
And, yup, you guessed it: they’re available to buy for just £50 online.
Kate, clearly a fan of the Superga style staple, has been spotted in her white sneaks on multiple occasions – and we can see why. After all, the Cotu Classic is the epitome of the classic white trainer, which has been an undeniable style staple for decades now.
Elizabeth Semmelhack, author of Out of the Box: The Rise of the Sneaker Culture, recently explained to Travel and Leisure that the true father of the all-white sneaker was the iconic Nike Air Force 1 of the Eighties.
“The importance of that sneaker then was you always had to wear it very clean and crisp. That spoke to prosperity and being able to afford new sneakers often,” she said, noting that a crisp white shoe doesn’t stay that way for long.
“The white sneaker carries some of the same concepts and is presenting as very pristine. It’s that pristine state that allows it to be so eye-catching… [and now] women are entering the sneaker culture en masse.”
Semmelhack added: “When you see a woman wearing, say, a Stan Smith paired with a skirt, it brings with it a certain flavour and gives an unexpected edginess.”
Exactly. And the same is true of a duchess wearing, say, a Superga sneak paired with camel-coloured culottes and a broderie blouse. However, while Kate fashioned hers with smart trousers (proving this is a totally workwear-appropriate look), fashion writer Billie Bhatia predicts we will be wearing ours with floral ditsy dresses for summer parties and turned up boyfriend jeans comes the weekend.
Or, to paraphrase cult 2004 teen comedy Mean Girls, “we saw Kate Middleton wearing Superga sneakers, so we bought Superga sneakers”.
Hmm. With that in mind, does anyone else want to bet that these Superga classics are going to be flying off the shelves in the not-so-distant future?