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The Boat Shoe Conspiracy Theory Circulating the Internet

Fashion from the early 2010s has been slowly creeping back into the spotlight, thanks to the shortened trend cycles (10-15 years) of our fast-paced climate. So it’s not surprising that boat shoes will be next to make a comeback…or is it?

TikTok influencer and trend forecaster Casey Lewis declared she had a “boat shoe conspiracy theory” to share, based on a February Vogue article declaring, “This is the year of the boat shoe.” Though the article featured styles from Miu Miu, Sebago and Timberland, Lewis noticed the headline mirrored Sperry’s Instagram holiday ad campaign also proclaiming the year of the boat shoe.

@caseymorrowlewis Boat shoe conspiracy theory #sperry #vogue #topsiders #boatshoes #preppy #emmachamberlain ♬ original sound – Casey Lewis

Lewis goes on to cite a video posted by Vogue, in which YouTuber Emma Chamberlain says, “I really see boat shoes. They will be back. Take it or leave it.” Sperry responded with a quippy Instagram post, debunking rumors (a few commenters) that the company paid Chamberlain to make the prediction and offering to send her some shoes.

From “Decked Out,” Footwear Plus 2017

Lewis goes on to call out boat shoes worn by fashion editor Aya Kanai during fashion week as well as the recent resurgence of “preppy” aesthetics. Plus, she says, boat shoes are the natural next progression after the popularity of ballet flats and loafers. “But I can’t stop thinking…Is Vogue being paid by big boat shoe?” she says, before coming to the conclusion, “Absolutely not.”

The March 2024 Issue

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