FILA Did It First: The Revival of the 90’s Chunky Sneaker
History always repeats itself. If you missed it the first time around (shoutout to my Gen Z’ers), the 90’s are officially back. Fanny packs, bike shorts, mood rings, and now the chunky sneakers that have become the shoe of the summer—scratch that, shoe of the year—are reappearing on the runways and in our closets.
You’ve probably seen a celebrity, blogger, or your fashion-forward friend sporting some version of the chunky sneaker. They look like they’ve been taken directly from a Jane Fonda exercise video then reimagined for today’s generation. The shoe’s distinctive thickness and wide silhouette is now often paired with inventive sole shapes and new colorways. Some of them feel like wearable, architectural wonders.
The sudden popularity of this style of shoe was shocking to many, but it was only a matter of time. Our generation is a nostalgic one; we are continually digging up relics of the past with a renewed sense of admiration.
Over time, I’ve come to fully understand its charm. They’re humorous and unexpected. In today’s fashion landscape, perfection is boring. While I was in Paris, Fila’s white Disruptor 2s were a style standard. Girls would pair them with everything from traditional streetwear to feminine dresses or culottes. The unlikely pairing of these shoes with things like frilly, tulle skirts challenge your expectations of what a person can wear. They reminded me of mixed media sculptures–combining different materials and shapes in unanticipated ways.
Reviving these throwback styles and putting a modern spin on them is not necessarily about beauty, it’s about creating new visual experiences.
When whispers of this trend began to surface, there was one brand who was ready for it: FILA. They only needed to reintroduce the Disruptor 2 sneaker, one of their most iconic silhouettes from the 90’s, to thrust themselves into the forefront of the movement. Since then, many brands, including high fashion ones, have been inspired to create their own versions. But, if you want a 90’s sneaker done right, you go to the people who were there to witness its birth. “We have had this in our brand DNA since 1993,” Louis Colon, the director of heritage for FILA North America, said in an interview. The brand’s enduring authenticity has allowed them to make an impressive comeback, setting them on a journey towards becoming a permanent fixture among iconic streetwear brands. Daring fashionistas and sneakerheads alike are clamoring for FILA’s simple yet masterful shoes.
The Disruptor 2s provide a happy medium for those who want something that is bold but can be worn daily. The shoe itself is minimalistic, but can operate as a staple piece depending on what color you get. I paired these bubblegum pink Disruptors with an all black outfit, letting my shoes do all the talking. The real excitement comes from the saw-style, platform soles and the creative stitching and symbols on the sides that appear to flow along the natural curves of a foot. It helps that the shoes are extremely comfortable, too.
FILA’s shoes are a wardrobe staple if you’re all for this 90’s throwback moment in fashion. But if we’re keeping it real, I anticipate that Disruptor 2s and FILA will be here to stay long after this trend has passed.
Would you wear these chunky shoes? Let me know in the comments!