Lifestyle: The best New Watch Designs of 2023 – Inside the White Sneaker’s 20-Year Rise to Fashion Ubiquity


Dear Reader,

The Editorial Team of TextileFuture suggests today for your reading only two features.

The first feature is entitled “Lifestyle: The best New Watch Designs of 2023” it is based upon the Geneva Watch Show.

The second item has the title: “Inside the White Sneaker’s 20-Year Rise to Fashion Ubiquity” and shows the development of Sneakers over 20 years, thus a fashion item.

We hope that we made the right choices for your personal reading and wish you a week of satisfaction ahead.

The two items were published firstly in the Wall Street Journal Magazine and we are proud to republish those two items.

We kindly expect that you will return next Tuesday for the new edition of the TextileFuture Newsletter.

Thank you!


The Editorial Team of TextileFuture Editorial Team

This is the start of the first feature:

Lifestyle: The Best New Watch Designs of 2023

Here are the top timepieces from the annual Watches and Wonders trade show in Geneva.

Photo: From left: courtesy of patek philippe, courtesy of van cleef & arpels, courtesy of zenith, courtesy of cartier, courtesy of chopard, COURTESY OF vacheron, courtesy of rolex

By guest author Jenny Hartman from the Wall Street Journal Magazine.

April 3, 2023

This past week, the watch world flocked to Geneva for Watches and Wonders, the industry’s largest and most closely watched fair, where nearly 50 brands and manufacturers unveiled their latest designs.

At the event, brands including A. Lange & Söhne, Zenith and Panerai focused on their sportier and more utilitarian models, introducing new interpretations of the classics with a mix of vintage-inspired details and, in some cases, a new minimalism. Rolex introduced the 1908 Perpetual, a sleek and dressy timepiece that launches a new line of watches for the brand. Striking new jewelry pieces from companies like Chanel and Van Cleef & Arpels added a lighthearted approach to serious gemstones and gold.

Below, WSJ.’s top designs from this year’s event.

     Photo: courtesy of rolex


To inaugurate a new collection of Rolex watches, the brand introduced the Perpetual 1908, a slim 39mm dress watch with a delicately fluted bezel. The name of the new piece is a nod to the year that the Rolex trademark was registered in Switzerland. Aesthetically akin to the beloved Cellini line of watches, this new design features a pared-back dial with a seconds subdial at 6 o’clock and gold Arabic numerals at 3, 9 and 12 o’clock. Available in yellow or white gold with a white or black dial, the timepiece is built with the new calibre 7140 and finished with a transparent caseback. Rolex Perpetual 1908, USD 22000.

  Photo: courtesy of A. Lange & Söhne

A. Lange & Söhne

German watchmaker A. Lange & Söhne released just one timepiece at the fair this year, focusing on their four-year-old sports model, the Odysseus. The new chronograph—which is limited to 100 pieces—equips a stainless-steel watch with a high-end movement, the manufacturer’s first self-winding chronograph. Clean, legible and bold, it features a textured black dial with large day and date windows, a seconds display subdial at 6 o’clock and a bright-red chrono seconds hand. A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Chronograph, price upon request.


 Photo: courtesy of patek philippe

Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe debuted a new everyday Calatrava with a dual time-zone function and a 24-hour display. Equal parts sporty and elegant, the rich navy-blue dial features a variety of finishes—striated, satin and snailed—with hand-applied, rose-gold numerals and markers. It is encased in rose gold without pushers to offer a distinct appearance. Patek Philippe Calatrava 24-Hour Display Travel Time, USD 57370.

Photo: courtesy of chopard


Chopard’s new L.U.C 1963 Heritage Chronograph looks as good on the outside as it does on the inside. It combines sporty and vintage aesthetics and features a deep-green sunburst dial with markers and subdials inspired by a car dashboard. Designed with a 42mm Lucent steel case, made from Chopard’s proprietary alloy of 80 % recycled elements, the watch has two mushroom-shaped pushers and a brown calfskin strap with green stitching to echo the color of the dial. A transparent caseback reveals the hand-wound flyback chronograph caliber with a 60-hour power reserve. Chopard L.U.C 1963 Heritage Chronograph, USD 32300.


   Photo: courtesy of panerai


For its new Radiomir California, Panerai introduced a touch of playfulness to the 1930s design, which was initially created for the Italian military. The updated version retains many original details, including its alternating Roman and Arabic numerals, with a dash for 3, 6 and 9 o’clock and an inverted triangle for 12 o’clock. The most striking update is its green dial and shrunken 45mm case (previously available only in 47mm). The coated-steel case is hand-brushed, adding to its vintage character. Panerai Radiomir California, USD 12300.

  Photo: courtesy of zenith


The highlight of Zenith’s newly revamped pilot watches, the Pilot Automatic, features a black dial with horizontal grooves, large vivid Arabic numerals and a date at 6 o’clock highlighted by a horizontal line, referencing an artificial horizon instrument on a plane’s dashboard. The case redesign includes a flat bezel with rounded case, finished with an oversize crown. Zenith Pilot Automatic, USD 9600.

Photo: Courtesy of Vacheron Constantin 

Vacheron Constantin

For the first time, Vacheron Constantin launches a retrograde date display complication into its Overseas line of watches. The unexpected combination marries a formal complication with a stainless-steel sports watch. The 41mm timepiece features a vibrant blue lacquer dial and an elegant moon phase that sits at 6 o’clock. Vacheron Constantin Overseas Moon Phase Retrograde Date, price upon request.

  Photo: courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels

Hidden within the bracelet of the rose-gold Ludo Secret from Van Cleef & Arpels is a small guilloché mother-of-pearl dial that’s revealed when the white diamond disks are pinched together by the wearer. The design was inspired by the French maison’s hallmark Ludo bracelet, introduced in 1934, which was shaped like a belt and featured a flexible, meshlike brick pattern. Van Cleef & Arpels Ludo Secret watch, USD 154000.

  photo Courtesy of Chanel


With an outsize 55mm bezel, domed crystal and matte-black grosgrain bracelet, the architecture of Chanel’s new series of five Mademoiselle Privé Pique-Aiguilles watches resemble that of a dressmaker’s pincushion. Each dial features a different motif from the French atelier. A standout piece references fabric embroidered with sequins, expressed through a black dial snow-set with 917 brilliant-cut diamonds. Chanel Mademoiselle Privé Pique-Aiguilles Embroidery Motif Watch, price upon request.

Photo courtesy of Cartier


Cartier played with scale and proportion to create the new baby Baignoire. Its oval dial features the same Roman numerals introduced over a century ago but has a balloon-like bezel and a yellow-gold bracelet now instead of a strap. This new iteration is part watch, part sculptural piece of jewellery and fits seamlessly into a stack of bangles. Cartier Baignoire Mini, USD 11800.


Photo: courtesy of jaeger-lecoultre


continues to propel the Reverso into the future with subtle updates to its hallmark model. This year the brand introduced a small seconds style, featuring a black dial against a rose-gold case. The new piece references its origins on the polo field, the sport for which it was first conceived. It comes with two interchangeable straps, including a canvas-and-calf version, made in collaboration with Argentine bootmaker Casa Fagliano. Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds, USD 21900.

  Photo: courtesy of grand seiko

Grand Seiko

The Grand Seiko Tentagraph is a sporty titanium model from the Evolution 9 collection. Its poetic blue dial draws inspiration from views of Mount Iwate in northern Japan, where the manufacturer is located. It is also the brand’s first mechanical chronograph and features a high-beat movement with a three-day power reserve. Grand Seiko Tentagraph, USD 13700.

Corrections & Amplifications
An earlier version of this article incorrectly included images of Zenith’s Pilot Big Date Flyback watch instead of its Pilot Automatic model. (Corrected on April 7, 2023)

The Wall Street Journal is not compensated by retailers listed in its articles as outlets for products. Listed retailers frequently are not the sole retail outlets.


Here is the beginning of the second and last item:

Inside the White Sneaker’s 20-Year Rise to Fashion Ubiquity

Season to season, the simple white leather sneaker is one of fashion’s most reliable units—for brands from Gucci to Veja. But it wasn’t always so.

By guest author Jacob Gallagher

April 4, 2023

Fashion companies love to think of themselves as unique beasts.

They crow about proprietary fabrics and paradigm-shifting silhouettes. They compete to see who can stage the most titanic runway show, or quibble in trademark court over who really owns this plaid or that logomark.

But for all this posturing about individuality, there is one item that an overwhelming number of fashion companies all offer: the simple white sneaker.

High-fashion behemoths from Berluti to Brioni, from Celine to Brunello Cucinelli, from Gucci to Givenchy, all sell virtually look-alike white sneakers with prices hovering near four figures. Upstarts like Veja and Axel Arigato have built their entire businesses on bleached soles.

According to the sneaker-reselling site StockX, the pedestrian all-white Nike Air Force One was its No. 2 bestselling shoe last year, edging all those cartoonishly-colored Dunks and Jordans.

The white sneaker is “something that brands are looking at as a must-have,” in league with staples like a tailored jacket or a pair of jeans, said Chris Kyvetos, the buying director of menswear for online retailer Mytheresa. “It’s not a trend, it’s a category in fashion now.”

These shoes are not clones—more like cousins. Alexander McQueen’s model (an elder within the category; it’s been around nearly a decade) sits on a gargantuan sole, Gucci’s “Ace” style has a Lilliputian bee logo and Off-White’s all-white shoe comes with a removable colored hang tag.

But by and large, when spotted across the street, they’re nearly identical.

Timothée Chalamet, LeBron James and David Beckham in their own iterations of the white sneaker.Photo: Getty Images

They also don’t differ much from stark, low-profile sneakers like Dior Homme’s “B01” model or Margiela’s “Replica,” which ushered in the trend nearly 20 years ago. These soft-soled models, echoing military trainers from decades before, compelled men to mothball their stiff dress shoes. More than that, they opened a chapter in men’s fashion in which editing one’s wardrobe down to nothing but the basics became a high ideal.

Before Marie Kondo made a blip, style blogs were publishing listicles of “the only 10 clothing items you need,” and making the case for a minimalist wardrobe. Many of these guides heralded the minimalist leather “Achilles” style from New York footwear company Common Projects.

“When we came to design Common Projects, ‘I was like it’s going to be something that never changes,’” said co-founder Peter Poopat. “Part of the reason that it was called Common Projects is because it was supposed to be like the common sneaker.”

Launched in 2005, the Achilles was developed out of Mr. Poopat and his business partner Flavio Girolami’s quest for a spartan shoe that wouldn’t unsettle a suit—something like Adidas’s on-court Stan Smiths, except constructed with finer materials. The Italian leather sneaker had a price that matched its higher-caliber makeup: around USD 260 when the company launched and around USD 400 today.

Initially, the brand sold the shoes in gray, white and black—of which the gray was the clear bestseller. But about five years into the company’s existence, Mr. Poopat recalled, white roared ahead. Soon, the clichéd uniform for New York art directors and budding Los Angeles talent agents was a pair of raw-denim jeans or a slender J.Crew Ludlow suit finished off with some sparkly white Achilles.

Common Projects’ blank sneaker hasn’t faltered since, remaining the company’s far and away bestseller even as it has introduced loafers, boots, sandals and (gasp) dress shoes.

Marion Alexander in one of his many pairs of white sneakers. Photo: Courtesy Marion Alexander

The chameleon blankness of colourless sneakers continues to pull shoppers to the white side. “You can wear them with essentially anything,” from a gray T-shirt up to a suit, said Marion Alexander, 35, a project manager at an engineering firm in Houston. Mr. Alexander owns plain leather sneakers from Saint Laurent, Gucci, Adidas and Common Projects, which—neat freaks take note—he cleans with baby wipes after each wear. “They look brand new because I take care of them,” he said of his 2-year-old, blemish-free Common Projects.

The ease and approachability of the white sneaker makes it something that brands can’t afford to leave off their line sheets.

Even if high-fashion labels want to present their latest rainbow-streaked cashmere capelet or 17-pocket cargo shorts on the runway, it’s those ho-hum white sneakers that boost their bottom line. When a man of means deems Givenchy’s USD 6660 embossed biker jacket too fashionable for his arsenal, a pair of its USD 950 all-white sneakers is easier to digest.

“More people can wrap their head around how and when and why to wear a white sneaker than they can a lot of other things in their closet,” said Chris Corrado, president of Autry USA, a sneaker company whose alabaster sneakers were part of an early 1980s boom for on-court—and really on-court-only—white tennis shoes.

When that trend fizzled, the company went dormant, but was revived just over three years ago under new ownership, with an aim toward selling white sneakers for daily life. The business is growing, said Mr. Corrado, in part because broadly speaking, “an all-white sneaker tends to be the bestselling SKU in any footwear brand’s assortment.” (Mr. Corrado also owns the wholesale showroom Plus Plus, which represents other companies including Salomon shoes and Diemme boots.)

In an uncertain economy, companies may be leaning more on these well-selling shopper favourites. Yet, Mr. Kyvetos noted that today, our tastes in plain shoes are becoming a bit less vanilla.

“We’re now in that transition period towards the white sneakers that actually perform,” he said.

Today consumers are shifting toward athletic-honed running shoes from On and Hoka with techier materials and bouncier soles. Said Mr. Kyvetos, once the customer “has purchased a pair of On running shoes, for example, and has worn them all day, it’s hard to go back to a really hard nonperforming sneaker.” The white colour, however, runs on.

Appeared in the April 5, 2023, print edition as ‘White Sneakers Are Here to Stay’.


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