A fashion exploded in the ’90s: the famous shoes with wedges represented an epic trend, capable of unleashing feelings of love and hate never so deep and visceral
Look through the eyes of today, the Buffalo wedges had something revolutionary :
they were proudly ugly. So ugly to challenge the aesthetic canons of the times to become, magically, irresistible enough to enter the permanent collection of the Met Museum in New York. To make them even more desirable for the young was then the most daring band of the moment: the Spice Girls.
Emma Bunton wore them with very short miniskirts, oblivious to the fact that they certainly did not throw her legs anything but thin , while Geri Halliwell combined them with tight bodysuits and ostrich boas (unforgettable her blue-white-red Buffaloes who cited the British flag). Even more extreme was Mel B, the “Scary Spice”, who wore them with animalier suits or golden leggings.
They were brave, the buffaloes, and even openly tamarized. But this did not hinder their spread like wildfire across Europe. Wanting to rehabilitate them, it can be said that the Buffalo contributed significantly to the emancipation of the diktat of beauty and 80s hedonism. It was as if they were saying, “We’re ugly, but we do not care!”, And the same one brought them.
The Buffalo became the expression of a new, feverish wave of freedom and optimism that had as its propeller the fall of the Berlin Wall and the beginning of a new, exciting, historical era. Although they were German, the Buffaloes ended up being one of the symbols of that Cool Britannia they had found in Tony Blair’s New Labor , in Hugh Grant’s comedies and in the britpop of Blur, Oasis and Supergrass, his official storytellers. The United Kingdom was leaving behind Margareth Thatcher’s three long terms and began to look forward to the future. And he did it (also) through that aesthetic break with the past.
Speaking a little bit of history, the Buffaloes were actually born well before Cool Britain and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, exactly in West Germany in 1979, in Hochheim in the Land of Hesse. The first models consisted of cowboy boots as the fashion wanted among teenagers, while in the ’80s the first line of sports sneakers was introduced, and then the club, with a high wedge. The turning point however was the early 90s, when the wedge boots became one of the must-haves of the Berlin techno-ravers, and 1995 was the year of the first Buffalo Classic , the most famous model. The Hightower version, with a smooth wedge, reached dizzying heights: up to 50 cm.
Besides the Spice Girls, they loved Madonna , Cameron Diaz, Nsync and even Cher. Their moment of glory, however, had a short life, and with the appearance of the new millennium fell into oblivion (to the delight of detractors). Among the various revivals that have taken place in the last twenty years, they have never returned to the limelight. Until today: the news of the relaunch of the Buffalo Classic has been released a few months ago through a series of collaborations with various brands and stylists. In March 2018 the collections designed together with Julia Watanabe – Comme Des Garçons and the Opening Ceremony brand were presented. In October the collaboration with the Berlin designer Patrick Mohr will be launched.
In short, the bad returns to be in fashion? It would seem so. And to confirm it is also the trend of the Chunky Sneakers , the ugly but cool sneakers, characterized by important shapes and high and shaped soles. A trend started by sports brands that immediately affected the luxury: to propose the most trendy models are Gucci, with the Rhyton sneakers made of ivory treated leather for a worn effect, Balenciaga, with the famous Triple S designed by Demna Gvasalia, and Dior Homme with the B22, leather and technical fabric sneakers loved by rappers and models like Big Sean and Bella Hadid.
Buffalo Triple S
Triple S sneaker
Observing them well, they seem to get straight straight from the 90s, with models that rework the concept of beauty subverting that taste for minimalism that had also convinced the brands of sportswear like Nike. And exactly as happened to the Buffalo, the world has already divided into fans and haters. For now they seem to win fans, with the Chunky Sneakers protagonists of the outfits of musicians, models and stars. But never say never: in a couple of years it could happen to be ashamed of wearing them, just like it happened with the Buffaloes. History, as we know, is a repeating cycle.