Balenciaga models wore platform Crocs on the runway at Paris Fashion Week

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By WalterThornton

Instead of making models suffer in heels down the runway at Paris Fashion Week, Balenciaga dressed them in chunky pairs of Crocs for its SS18 presentation. The French fashion empire has teamed up with the shoe manufacturer on a limited-edition collection that upgrades the Classic Clog to a 10-centimeter platform called the “Foam.” Michelle Poole, SVP of global product and marketing for Crocs told Footwear News about the upcoming collaboration.

“When Balenciaga approached us, we were intrigued by the opportunity to push the boundaries of our design and molding capabilities to see what we could create together,” she said. “Working with Balenciaga has been so much fun for our team, and once again demonstrates the relevance of our iconic clog in today’s fashion and design world, as well as allowing us to tap into the excitement and energy that comes from unexpected partnerships.”

Footwear News reports that the Foam will be available to purchase exclusively at Balenciaga in stores and online. Last year, Crocs started taking steps toward a comeback when Urban Outfitters decided to sell the clog. Back in 2014, Degen attempted to make Crocs cool in the form of flatforms with LED-lit stripes at NYFW.

NYCK Caution wants to be your rap king

As part of Russell Athletic’s Heritage Collection and Sweatshirt Deal, the Pro Era musician details his heritage, his upbringing, and how he’s bridging the gap between old and new rap.

As we dart across the Williamsburg Bridge, nestled in a sleek black sprinter van, NYCK Caution sits in one of the back rows — his eyes fixed on the New York City skyline. The view must be a familiar site for the 24-year-old, whose stage name is literally an acronym for New York City Kid. “One day maybe I’ll be New York City King,” he says half-joking, half determined. The rapper exudes a fiery confidence, and speaks in a slick, low-toned New York City drawl. He doesn’t seem tired for somebody who’s been shooting all afternoon, after just coming off of a tour in support of booming fellow New Yorkers the Flatbush Zombies.

A native of Brooklyn, NYCK grew up in the peninsular neighborhood of Mill Basin, part of the borough’s more suburban confines. His family is Italian and Jewish, but he says he developed his character by hanging around the local parks in his neighborhood with kids two or three years older than him. His dreams of rap began in the halls of Edmund R. Murrow High School in Midwood. Now an established member of Pro Era — New York rap’s truest underground group — the story is rooted in those school hallways where he met and befriended future rap stars Joey Bada$$ and the late Capital Steez. Their shared passion of music led Pro Era to become what it is today, a titan among rap purists, and a link between rap’s old roots and the youth of the internet age.

We arrive at a secluded school ground, secured by a high chain-link fence — sort of like an old pro-wrestling cage match. A bridge can be seen in the near distance, towering over the murky water of the Hudson. NYCK is here to shoot for Russell Athletic’s new Heritage Collection, a bold, modern take on the brand’s illustrious 115-year history. Russell takes its iconic eagle logo and athletic silhouette into today’s eccentric fashion climate, while also backing its brand with the bold reputation of “inventing the sweatshirt.”

The Pro Era musician seems like a perfect match for the collab. During the shoot, as he swaps out a simple burgundy Russell tee for a bright hooded sweatshirt embossed with a fiery eagle logo, the pieces mesh seamlessly with NYCK’s own dark beanie and sharp black cargo pants. I wouldn’t ask twice if he told me he’d pulled the ‘fit from his own closet. The Heritage Collection holds up well with NYCK’s subtle, but confident sense of style, while also blending into New York’s own juxtaposition of subtlety and ferocity.

His musical style also draws similarities to the Heritage Collection. After crashing onto the rap scene back in 2012, NYCK and Pro Era’s sound has been likened to the golden-era greatness of the ‘90s. For a while, the young Brooklynites proudly wore that musical hat. Now at 24-years-old, NYCK has plans to blend the old, traditional hip-hop with the experimentalism of new-aged rap. “I don’t want to be just a spitter, with just bars. I can make songs, and I have shit to talk about,” he tells me. “The music industry is in an interesting place. You can do anything.”

NYCK tells me that his last two projects — Disguise The Limit and NYCK @ Knight — were a mix of his talents. One leaned heavily towards his ability to carry the torch for hip-hop traditionalists, and one took a step into the new generation. He now looks toward his next body of work, which, like the Heritage Collection, will be a melting pot of old and new elements.