Despite the current trend for clunky, thick-soled “grandpa sneakers,” nothing beats a pair of classic Stan Smiths. They’re simple, they’re streamlined, and they go with everything. More often than not, they’re leather, which is a pro or a con depending on whom you ask. Stella McCartney is in the latter camp, of course. A lifelong vegetarian, she’s designed her fair share of faux leather, knit, and even recycled plastic shoes for her Adidas x Stella McCartney line, now in its 13th year. It wasn’t until she received a custom pair of Stan Smiths that the idea for her latest sneaker crystallized.
“Many years ago, I was given a special pair of vegetarian leather Stan Smiths by my husband and Adidas,” she tells Vogue. “It occurred to me that you really couldn’t tell the difference between the real leather and the faux leather pair. I could not help but think [of] how many animals’ lives could be saved if Stan Smith and Adidas would change from real leather to vegetarian leather, and use non-animal-based glues.” She suggested a Stella McCartney x Stan Smith collaboration to Adidas, and the results are landing in stores on September 10. “We’ve been collaborating with Adidas for many years, [so] I thought this would be a great way to reach a really wide audience and enable them to understand that you don’t have to have leather shoes or animal-based glues in order to have an incredible, iconic product,” McCartney says.
The “Stella Stan Smith” looks nearly identical to the classic pair you’ve seen everywhere, save for a few details: Instead of a Kelly-green heel, these are color-blocked with burgundy and navy and stamped with McCartney’s logo. The Adidas stripes down the side are replaced with tiny punched-out stars, a consistent motif in McCartney’s accessories, and while Stan Smith’s profile remains etched on the right tongue, the left one features the designer’s portrait. Each pair retails for $325 (SAR/AED 1,194) and will be available for pre-order at stellamccartney.com.
This article first appeared on Vogue.com