Lisa Aiken is Net-a-Porter’s retail fashion director, aka the woman responsible for our extensive wish lists and dented wallets. She’s something of an oracle for the Who What Wear UK team. We trust her every recommendation (and attend her seasonal trend presentations without fail); we look to her wardrobe choices and unwaveringly cool NAP edit to make our own moves; and now, she’s a regular columnist here on the site—hurrah! This month, it’s all about how she went from being a high-heel aficionado to actually falling in love with sneakers…
I never was a sneaker girl—at least, not until earlier this year, when I sported a pair of Nike Air Max for the global tour of our seasonal trends presentation. From London to Paris and Munich and New York, rather than schlepping around in mules, boots or slides, I chose the ultimate in comfy footwear and wore my trainers to death, and I came to love them.
I first spotted the sneakers’ resurgence at Copenhagen Fashion Week a couple of seasons back. I’ve now come to realise that’s where most trends start forming—the Danes are always one step ahead! I saw girls wearing “dad” sneakers with flowing mid to maxi dresses, thinking it looked cool but had yet to be convinced that I could pull it off. I’m not sure what pushed me to make the change, but I came to realise that fashion sneakers are the ultimate balance to your look. Sneakers undeniably make your outfit feel and look cooler without feeling OTT.
Throw them on with any dress or pair them with wide-leg pants and they’ll see you through from now until winter. And if you’re still unsure about swapping your loafers for sneakers, go for a pair that isn’t too loud; at Net-a-Porter, we have over 200 styles to choose from.
Now that I’m fully on the pathway to being a sneaker convert, I’m looking to graduate from my Nikes. But what to choose, seeing as there are so many styles, from logos, embellishments and prints to the laceless sock kind? Personally, I’m after something chunky that nods to “dad” sneakers. As I’m still relatively new to this trend, though, I don’t want anything too loud or colourful, so I’m opting for Stella McCartney’s white faux leather Eclypse sneakers.
In fact, we loved Stella’s trainers so much that we asked her team to make a women’s version of a pair we saw on the men’s runway especially for our customers; it’ll be launching exclusively in September (stay tuned; note that you can buy her other versions already). But until then, I’ll be wearing my Eclypses day in, day out, and I have to admit they’re quite simply the comfiest things alive.
Shop my exact sneakers and my other top white chunky sneaker picks below…
The exact pair of trainers I’ve been wearing.
A new version of McQueen’s ultra-popular platform sneaks.
So bouncy, so good for long days.
Instantly recognisable among fashion editors.
Get them while you can—these are constantly selling out.
For the white-sneaker purists out there.
The perfect pair for running weekend errands.
Everyone’s after a pair of these.
A little bit retro with the gum sole.