Fresh off the heels of men’s Fashion Week, Dior is dropping a limited run of B9S sneakers, with six versions available for preorder through February 7th. They’re plush, with quilted versions sporting bold graphic sketches in leather and satin. A single neon-yellow variant, exclusively available online, recalls Kim Jones’ fluorescent, surf-inspired beachwear capsule for Dior. Other variants take an earthier approach, with beige and grey tones washing over the streetwear-style silhouette. Laces take up the signature Dior Oblique motif, while three other models — made from tweed — reinterpret D-I-O-R charms.
Fashion prowess aside, you should know that Dior B9S sneakers aren’t a regular pair of trainers; they also provide an innovative portal to the Dior workshop. On the sole of each right shoe is an NFC (near-field communication) chip, which allows owners to access an exclusive network online. From there, members get an insider view of the Maison, following each step of the crafting process — oh, and an exclusive first look at upcoming sneaker launches, too.
With the rise of the Dior B9S, the fashion house joins a growing list of luxury brands with lifestyle initiatives. Think of the Land Rover Defender House, for instance: beyond leather seats and hand-stitched threads, they’re building a genuine community for brand supporters. As an exclusive offer for pre-ordering customers, Dior’s B9S launch takes a similar consumer-community approach.
For the Maison, though, any community initiative has to honour its heritage: per Dior, the portal will perpetuate “the art of detail and excellence dear to Christian Dior.” The B9S — both a pair of shoes and a metaphorical means of travel — seems to reference Christian Dior’s passion for Ancient Greek and Roman mythology.
If you studied the classics — or even read Percy Jackson & the Olympians — you likely know of Hermes: the Greek god of roads, travel, commerce, and communication (among other things). As a deity of travel, Hermes was, canonically, an expert in footwear; one of his symbols was a legendary pair of winged sandals, known as the Talaria. Made of gold, the Talaria were both passport and plane, providing Hermes the opportunity for instant travel across communities.
At first pass, any parallels between the myth and the digital portal of Dior B9S might seem coincidental — until you learn a particularly fascinating bit of Dior history, that is. You see, Christian Dior himself was famously obsessed with the Greek and Roman pantheon. As far back as 1949, Dior was styling his dresses after goddesses like Juno and Venus. Subsequent designers at Dior carried on the tradition, too. In 2003, a collection of Galliano-era Dior dresses contributed to “Goddess,” an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that drew parallels between modern dress and Ancient Greek deities. Recent launches continue the trend: the 2022 Dior Cruise Collection campaign debuted at the Temple of Zeus “in homage to an iconic shoot that took place at the Acropolis seventy years ago, featuring haute couture looks by Monsieur Dior.” So, you tell us: was Kim Jones inspired by the ancient myth?
For what it’s worth, we’re tempted to see these kicks in a new (white?) light. But whatever the case is, there’s no debating that B9S — with their chunky, streetwear-ready silhouettes and soles as plush as a cloud — have style in spades. So, whether you’re looking for a piece of Dior history or merely a sleek style update, the Dior B9S has you covered.