Lately, it seems like every new Yeezy shoe assumes the title of “Kanye’s weirdest yet.” Ye’s been on an experimental design kick with his recent Adidas releases, moving away from classic sneaker silhouettes—and, in turn, testing our patience. His latest, the snub-nosed NSTLD Boots—which don’t not resemble the character Littlefoot from The Land Before Time—are no different.
While the padded boots, which Ye’s eldest daughter North first wore while performing at the Yeezy Season 8 runway show in early 2020, got plenty of heat on Instagram (more or less to the tune of, as North sang, “What are those?”), it was only a matter of time before someone else cool and famous gave them a seal of approval. In fact, make that a matter of hours: the NSTLDs dropped and subsequently sold out on Friday, and come Saturday morning, Justin Bieber wore them out to brunch at the Bel-Air Hotel, positively dwarfing his wife Hailey Bieber’s Dunks in comparison. Biebs (or perhaps his longtime stylist, Karla Welch) paired them with a cream crewneck and an oversized pair of carpenter jeans from the latest Heron Preston capsule for Calvin Klein. All told, he resembled a hypebeast Han Solo.
It makes sense that we’re getting some Bieber/Kanye fashion overlap these days. Bieber, recent Balenciaga posterboy, and Ye, longtime Balenciaga devotee, have been friends for years, and on Halloween, they performed alongside Marilyn Manson—who appears on Donda and is actively facing multiple sexual assault lawsuits—for a revival of Ye’s Sunday Service performance series. All three wore matching gray Balenciaga Croc boots—another maligned shoe that is, of course, Ye’s new favorite. Ugly is back. Ungulate footwear is in. Everything is connected.