Ariana Grande has pretty much perfected her “look.” Along with that trademark high ponytail and feline flick, it’s a familiar sartorial refrain: a mini skirt, oversized top and thigh-high boots, with the exception of performance wear which often sees a scant upper half. Seeing her in a different look is jarring, to say the least.
So when the pop star uploaded a mirror selfie of her outfit, everything looked normal enough: there was the oversized bomber, the high pony, the hair clip (another Grande classic), but there was one major change: a sneaker. But this wasn’t any ordinary sneaker, this was a super-charged, stacked, Spice Girl-worthy sneaker (which she wore with a little grey ankle sock). The shoe, affectionately coined the “ugly sneaker”, was peak ’90s fashion – made extra famous by Baby, Ginger, Sporty, Scary and Posh. It staged an unexpected comeback in 2018, with designers Balenciaga, Acne Studios, Adidas, Yeezy, Gucci, Vetements and Margiela all peddling “ugly” varietals. But 2019 saw the trend curb a little, its “ugliness” repressed in favour or a slimmer sneaker which remained stacked, but not to the awkward levels of its predecessor.
But with Ariana Grande wearing Buffalo London’s platform sneakers – the actual brand the Spice Girls wore way back when – we’re wondering whether the ugly shoe might sneak back on in.