Salomon’s Takeover Continues In 2022 with HIDDEN.NY
In a time when basketball sneakers and YEEZY Runners are the go-to, 2020-21 saw Salomon burst onto the scene with its outdoor-focused footwear tapping into a clean aesthetic in a range of colourways that were enough to grab the attention of many sneakerheads.
While the brand we know and love today has seen sellout GR releases with some of the most innovative and enticing colourways we have seen on a sneaker in recent memory, the brand had humble beginnings as a small ski wear workshop opening in downtown Annecy, France, in 1947.
Salomon Hiking Boot, 1992
As the brand focused mainly on skiwear throughout its early years, it wasn’t until 1992 that Salomon took its first dive into summer sports, releasing its first hiking boot. While the boot looked something between the Reebok ‘Alien Stomper’ worn by Ripley in the classic Alien film series and the Nike Mags from Back To The Future - the silhouette and its trail-ready technology laid the groundwork for what would develop in a variety of hiking silhouettes. The most popular of these silhouettes are seen in the form of the XT-4, launched around 2015 and XT-6.
At first glance, the two sneakers look very similar in their design and shape. However, subtle differences in the ankle support, the shape of the toebox and branding set the two apart. With the XT-6 being launched in 2012, it took a matter of time for the silhouette to be picked up by a wider audience. Due to its lack of popular appeal during this time, Salomon was close to scrapping the silhouette until the move was narrowly saved by Salomon’s special projects manager, Jean Philippe Lalondewith in 2016.
Since then, the silhouette would go on to see GQ vote it sneaker of the year in 2019 with almost every drop selling out within hours.
While the XT-6 is the popular selection from Salomon’s roster, it’s the XT-4 that is being utilised in the collaboration between the French brand and the Instagram mood board turned clothing brand - HIDDEN.NY. An account spanning over 22,000 posts and 800,000 followers, HIDDEN.NY has become a synonymous name within the sneaker/streetwear industry for posting a myriad of images tapping into popular culture past and present.
While the page has been working on its brand since around 2019, the familiar lowercase green ‘h’ has been making its way onto garments and timelines more and more as time has gone on showcasing collaborations with the likes of Billionaire Boys Club and Clarks Originals.
Releasing a completely CGI video on Tuesday 17th May, via their main account and HIDDEN.PPF, the collaboration on the XT-4 silhouette was revealed. While the news didn’t break into the mainstream, it has been enough to get fans who are in the fold interested.
The colourway applied to the silhouette is as clean as you’d expect from the minimal HIDDEN aesthetic. The upper utilises a cream and white approach with hints of brown on the tongue and around the sock liner. The minimal upper sits upon an emerald green TPU midsole which matches the signature ‘h’ HIDDEN.NY logo found on the heel.
Additional details include subtle Salomon branding wrapping around the ankle as well as a small Salomon swirl logo on the heel and tongue tabs. Utilising the usual heavily gripped rubber outsole seen on the XT series, you could expect to see this pair on the trails as well as in your favourite Soho coffee shop.
Releasing alongside a small capsule collection of clothing including a hoodie, lightweight trousers and shorts, and of course the classic HIDDEN.NY socks, the partnership is another step in Salomon’s reign over popular culture.
Whether Salomon will officially break into the mainstream in the way that New Balance and ASICS are beginning to is yet to be seen.
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