”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 sound off in the comments below.

When Hedi Slimane was named creative director of Yves Saint Laurent in 2012, fashion was in the midst of a transition. Roles were changing, style was stagnant and the industry was desperately waiting for a hard refresh. After a five year absence from fashion following his departure from Dior Homme, Slimane was exactly the kick it needed. The designer came in full throttle, famously dropping the “Yves” in favor of Saint Laurent Paris and committing hard to his skinny rocker aesthetic. While the result was polarizing, the massive sales figures were undeniable. With rock as a central theme throughout his four year tenure, Slimane explored various aspects of the genre as they related to his adopted home of Los Angeles. From Venice Beach and Santa Monica surf culture to the new age rock bands playing across West LA, Slimane incorporated the wardrobe of skaters, beach bums and burnouts into his vision for Saint Laurent. Between all of these groups, one prominent choice of footwear was cowboy boots, particularly vintage Western and harness boots thrifted and worn tough. The ubiquity of the style inspired Slimane’s most infamous footwear designer: the Wyatt harness boot.

Debuted during his inaugural Fall/Winter 2013 menswear collection, the Wyatt featured in every look and when the design hit stores sold out immediately. Inspired by Frye boots of the same name, Slimane slimmed down the shaft and exaggerated the toe to create a modern rendition of a riding boot perfectly suited for his ultra-slim aesthetic. The most popular colorway—nut suede—alongside skinny light-wash denim was the de facto look for a horde of Slimane acolytes, and for years on end the boots sold as quickly as they restocked. At one point, brand new pairs were even flipped for profit, a feat considering the $995 price tag. Following Slimane’s departure, however, the soul was seemingly sucked form the label, and new appointee Anthony Vaccarello’s menswear is a pale imitation. Simultaneously, the Wyatt’s numerous restocks and availability after eight seasons meant that every wealthy kid in Los Angeles owned a pair. The style became a caricature of its former self, branded nouveau riche and inspiring memes aplenty. Today, with Slimane at Celine, he will no doubt present a new “it” boot, his devotees will flock, and the Wyatt will be left to those with large budget and minimal taste.

That said, the shoe in and of itself is great. Well made in a wide choice of materials, the shoes age beautifully and the harness adds just enough flair to make a statement without veering into Valentino stud territory. Like the shoe’s which they are based on, the Wyatt is a timeless silhouette that will always be in style. Is post-Slimane Saint Lauren corny? Undoubtedly. But, eventually the house will move in a new, decidedly not-Slimane direction and abandon the silhouette. When it does—and Wyatt’s are no longer in production—the shoes will become a classic. Take our word for it.

Disagree? Whether you think the Saint Laurent Paris Wyatt harness boot is classic or trash, let us know in the comments below.

Tags: classic-or-trash, boots, wyatt-harness-boot, hedi-slimane, saint-laurent-paris