Love them or hate them, we can’t deny that the “Big Red Boots” from notoriously divisive fashion brand, MSCHF, have taken the internet by storm. The somewhat outrageous price tag (they go on sale on February 16th for $350) combined with the equally outrageous design, have left many questioning if these boots are the real deal or just a satirical critique of the fashion industry. Controversial or not, the “Big Red Boots” (which is their official name) are definitely impacting the MSCHF brand awareness. In the last week, search interest for the brand has increased by an incredible 1021%. And according to TikTok, #bigredboots has reached 96% peak viewership in the last week with 1 billion views and 9K posts about the topic.

But strangely enough, these boots are part of a rising trend that fashion forecasters are starting to notice. Call it what you will, Cartoon-core, Cloud-core – strange, larger than life designs that look as though they’ve been pulled directly out of a comic book are beginning to pop up everywhere. Is this the industry’s response to the seemingly inevitable rise of digital fashion? With fashion NFTs and brands launching their own digital fashion collection and virtual runway shoes, it doesn’t seem so far off that we’ve now gone in the opposite direction – and bringing animated/cartoon items to life. Maybe it was said best in MSCHF’s press release regarding their infamous boots, “Cartoon boots for a Cool 3D World”.

Several luxury brands have recently featured items in their collection that exhibit exaggerated and cartoonish features. Loewe featured exaggerated “Minnie Mouse” pumps in their latest spring collection, Balenciaga’s collaboration with Crocs also featured out-of-this-world footwear, and Prada’s recent collection of puffy, balloon-like loafers and mules also fit to this trend. And extending outside of just footwear, we even saw Sam Smith at the 2023 Brit Awards last week in a shiny, black latex bodysuit with inflatable legs and arms.

Collage by Stylight

We examined this trend on Stylight and noticed significant increases in clicks on this “Cartoon-Core” shoe style compared to last year.

  • + 314% increase in clicks on Cartoon-core Prada shoes
  • >1000% increase in clicks on Cartoon-core Loewe shoes
  • + 90% increase in clicks on Cartoon-core Balenciaga shoes
The “Minnie Mouse” heels shown by Loewe at their Spring/Summer 2023 show
Photo: Getty Images

About the data: Stylight numbers are based on the time frame January 1 2023 – February 12 2023 vs. the same time period in 2022. For TikTok and Google numbers, the time frame was based on the previous 7 days (February 6 – 13).

written by:

Rebekah Ortquist

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