When Gérard and Daniel Darel got to Paris in the late sixties, they already had one thing in mind : they would create their own fashion brand. In 1971, Gérard Darel, the brand, was born in Paris… and was to make one quick and not so quiet way into the industry. Their fashion line was immediately the talk of Paris and their blazers would be out of stock in no more than ten hours at the time !
Success came up but Gerard Darel’s globalisation really happened on a fortunate event at an auction, and it involved Jackie Kennedy… Well, Jackie Kennedy’s necklace, actually. In 1996, Mrs. darel buys her pearls at Sotheby’s and decides to replicate the necklace into Darel’s collections : the media talk of it and it soon goes all around the planet. That is when Gerard Darel grew to be the huge brand we know.
Struggles at the end of the 2000s brought Charlotte Gainsbourg and other celebrities to help the brand renew its image and go bigger. They needed to get rid of their sixties flash-hit celebrity image and completely do things in a new and more forward way. That is when they created the 24h it-bag that was seen even in Desperate Housewives thanks to Eva Longoria, who would not leave hers in her room and wanted to shoot her scenes with her Darel bag… and so on went their more modern successes.
Gérard Darel has a classic image, and they are not going to get rid of it. But they sure shook it up and got to create younger and younger creation. With their sneakers, they really managed a turn that was way unexpected and had quite their success. Most of the shoes I am going to speak of are vintage pairs that you will only get online on specific websites. But they are worth the look, so let’s have a grasp of these beauties!
Gerard Darel’s Run GD: the one that will have your heart crushing on them
Amongst the most recent sneakers launch at Darel’s, the Run GD was one of the prettiest pair of tennis shoes that was designed. Meant for an urban and modern life, women with a busy job and social life will adore running up and about with these cool white sneakers at their feet.
There is no denying these are pretty classic in their shape and design, but this is what makes them suitable at your office as well as at your favourite bar. And what more do you need from a pair of sneakers than to be the one shoes to take you through the whole day with comfort and style?
The Gérard Darel Run GD – I let you guess what that monogram ‘GD’ stands for – are very 2010s sneakers. Nowadays, it is all about thick running shoes but these Run GD are very tennis shoes inspired, with round lines, white leather and a colour tab at the back of the heel.
It is actually quite nice to have such simple and nicely done sneakers. Metal rivets and natural leather on the inside of the shoes are the luxury touch that really make the Run GD high-end sneakers.
There is one detail about these shoes that you can only see when you have them in front of you: the Run GD’s tongues are adorned with the number “24”, the emblematic number of the house and name of the iconic handbag that made their 2000s success.
Details are key to luxury and that number, 24, is not just an adornment: these sneakers were designed to take you wherever you need, 24/7. It is up to you to chose how long you wait until you get these Darel tennis shoes and enjoy as much style and easiness a you did with your 24h handbag!
Gerard Darel’s GD sneakers: the running shoes you would not guess they designed
As I have just said above, these years are all about the fat Dad-shoes inspired sneakers. And that vintage surprising nostalgia reached up to Gérard Darel’s creative director since, astonishingly, they designed a pair of their own and called it very simply the “GD” sneakers.
These unexpected running shoes are available in Darel stores and that is where they really shine out the most: surrounded with all these quite classic pieces of clothing, the GD sneakers actually find their place and manage to add something more to the Darel DNA: a lot of youth.
As if they had been made in the 1980s, the GD sneakers are really retro with fat thick soles and a mix and match of white, beige, red calf and goat leather patches on a white polyester base.
This upper shoe is shaped in a quite graphic way with details like a net-like polyester weave. The rivets are simply perforation on the upper shoe and the laces – these stripe white laces that remind you your PE lessons from high-school – give a sense of sporty attitude and set a mood that is very young and active.
The Gérard Darel GD sneakers are sneakers made for all ages and styles. You can not really wear them at your office if you work in a formal environment but you sure can slip the GD sneakers under your desk for whenever you want to have a walk far away from these heels you love and… ache from at the same time!
You can match the GD sneakers as much with good old jeans or go a bit more trendy and try and wear them with a long feminine skirt. On my part, I would recommend a white mini skirt and a navy blue sweater with these!
Gerard Darel’s velcro straps sneakers: the shiny shoes for sunny days
Something of the Spring time floats in the air when these Gérard Darel sneakers appear somewhere around you (or even better: at your feet). Their lamé leather is the key: these Darel sneakers are not so much tennis-shoes since, from their design to their colour, they really are precious and utterly feminine.
Mostly, sneakers are unisex creations and meant for both men and women. Here, these sneakers were clearly designed for one woman, the Darel woman and her busy and elegant lifestyle.
As I indicated you in the title of this section, these shiny and radiant Gérard Darel sneakers have quite a unique feature residing in their fastening: these are velcro straps you can see in the picture, and yes, Darel dared make adult shoes with velcro straps on them!
And, quite surprisingly, this rather childish feature actually conveys a sense of joyfulness and easiness that laces do not. And assorted with that silver or bronze coloured lamé leather, their potentially strange presence actually becomes logical and cool. Who would have guessed? Feminine, elegant and definitely not childish, these sneakers are worth casting a look.
More than casting a look, you can actually really lean on it and maybe try to get you hand on them. These sneakers are vintage Darel that still are very praised by connoisseurs and Gérard Darel lovers who remember these 2000s shoes.
But these is more than history to the perks of these Darel sneakers: with their unique shine and very clever design – you can not miss it nor dismiss it when you see it! – they are easy shoes for your everyday life, even at work with an appropriate and more formal outfit. The difference between the sneakers and the classic silhouette will give you something trendy and yet elegant… like any Darel woman is!
Gerard Darel’s high-top wedged sneakers: the vintage sneakers fantasy
Let’s make this one short: I selected these for the nostalgia you probably will suddenly feel as you lay your eyes on these very, very, vintage sneakers. They were the one that overwhelmed the planet around 2012 with their thick laces, high ankle, nice finish and… wedged soles!
Gérar Darel issued theirs around this time and has since ended their production. But their disappearance from the fashion magazines does not mean that they are worthless, on the contrary. Available in vintage stores, these Darel high-top wedged sneakers still have something nice and easy going and yet very feminine and elegant thanks to their wedged heel.
The main advantage of these leather high-top wedged sneakers is that they have been so long gone, they might well be the ones that designers will get inspiration from in the seasons to come. Let’s be honest, we have seen enough running and tennis shoes, and since the wind is about to turn… go ahead and get these!
Gerard Darel, the surprisingly fine sneakers
It was unexpected that Darel was to launch actually cool sneakers in their history… but they really managed the challenge and showed once more that they are a modern fashion brand with a sense of what is trendy and above all, of what is elegant.
To help you in your research, you must know that Darel sneakers are more easily found at second-hand or vintage boutiques and websites since most of the models are not produced anymore today.