”Classic or Trash” is a recurring franchise highlighting a specific item and asking exactly that question: Is it classic or trash? Granted, each member of the Grailed community is entitled to their own opinion, and while the Grailed editorial staff does its best to judge items objectively, we more than encourage you to disagree and voice your opinion in the comments below.

While items may be initially praised, eventually the hype subsides and we can judge a piece’s merits and shortcomings purely in terms of aesthetic. Throughout 2017, no pair of shoes fit the bill quite like the Balenciaga Triple S. Initially revealed during the brand's Fall/Winter 2017 menswear show, the shoes immediately caught the attention of both fashion-nerds and sneaker fanatics alike. Then still riding high off Vetements’ blockbuster success, designer Demna Gvasalia’s first foray into tennis shoes not only helped launch the chunky, dad sneaker wave, but spawned a cavalcade of imitators, prompting both luxury and mass-market brands to launch their own iterations. When the shoes finally released in September of 2017, they immediately sold out as expected. What was a surprise, however, were the astronomical resale prices—particularly considering the shoe’s $795 price tag. With buyers willing to pay more than double retail, the Triple S was the most successful luxury sneaker in years. Each colorway was more celebrated than the last and unless you happened to be walking by a Balenciaga retailer the day they dropped, the shoes were largely unattainable.

Yet, after countless restocks and permutations, the magic seemed to fade. To meet the incessant demand, Balenciaga announced it was moving production from Italy to China. While the company insisted it was simply a scaling issue, the new sneakers were noticeably lighter and many perceived the weight difference as a sign of cheaper manufacturing. As the Triple S lost its luster, chunky sneakers simultaneously became the norm and demand quickly faded. Resell prices dropped seemingly overnight and today the shoes are nearly always available—last season some colorways even went on sale, unheard of less than 12 months prior. With the hype gone and the end of the dad sneaker trend in sight, is the Triple S no longer cool, let alone a good-looking shoe?

The answer is complicated. For many, the shoe is emblematic of our current fashion climate, the “it’s so ugly it’s beautiful” aesthetic. Yet, with almost any normal sized pant, the Triple S is so comically large and cartoonish in nature that it's hard to justify. While it is no doubt a highlight of Gvasalia’s current Balenciaga tenure, it seems far fetched that anyone will care about the Triple S a year from now—let alone five. While the shoes are still a financial success, they are more than likely a passing fad rather than a permanent fashion fixture. Considering how Gvasalia moves at the speed of the internet—and his fans tend to follow suit—we find it hard to believe that anyone will be copping the sneaker six months from now. As far as we see it, unless one is a Balenciaga archivist, history will not reflect too kindly on the Triple S.

Now, we ask you: Is it classic, or trash? Give us your take in the comments below.

Tags: sneakers, demna-gvasalia, balenciaga, classic-or-trash