Fotografie: Eva Baales exklusiv für Achtung Mode

Hogan: The Luxury Sneaker Pioneer

Fashion brands love sneakers. Italian house Hogan was one of the first to jump on the comfort shoe in a luxe version bandwagon

Fashion has a serious love affair with the sneaker. Ever since Martin Margiela discovered the indoor German army shoe made by Ludwig Reiter and turned it into a fashion icon, which does brisk business at the cash register, every fashion designer has a sneaker thing. Adidas has teamed up with Raf Simons and Rick Owens to create some, Nike asked Riccardo Tisci and Olivier Rousteing amongst others and even men’s couture brand Berluti shows them on the runway.

And yes, the Adidas collaborations have seen some unusual and path-breaking designs, especially by Rick Owens – but generally, it all looks boring. Valentino even went as far as looking closely at a New Balance running sneaker to come up with their mega-million selling model. They just added some studs and camouflage patterns and a serious price tag. But we want to talk about the company who has been the pioneer in this field: Italian Hogan which was founded in 1986 and to this day sells an amazing one million pairs of Hogan sneakers in Italy alone.

Andrea Della Valle: “You can go to a club or the theater wearing them and always feel comfortable.”

Now that is an achievement! Diego Della Valle was one of the first entrepreneurs to jump on the comfort shoe in a luxe version bandwagon. So, after his success with the driving shoe for Tod’s, he built the foundation of his holding company with Hogan and a sneaker. Formerly run by his son Emanuele who created wacky ad campaigns with the likes of Dennis Hopper, it is now run by his brother Andrea Della Valle who also manages the football team Fiorentina, which is the pride of Florence.

What makes Hogan stand out are the smart collaborations the company has had over the years. They were the first to work with a stylist like Katie Grand and called the project Katie loves Hogan which helped them connect to the love editor’s vast network of influencers. Of course, Karl Lagerfeld has been on board for some ideas as well when Hogan threw a big Paris bash.

The original sneaker looks a bit like a running shoe and has a big H logo emblazoned on the side. In Italy, and even in Munich you see wealthy parents in their Hogan’s on the weekend. Andrea Della Valle sums it up best: “We were pioneers in the casual luxury sneaker arena and this is a great moment for the category; it’s booming. You can go to a club or the theater wearing them and always feel comfortable.”