Valentino first debuted its now iconic and instantly recognizable Rockstuds at its Spring 2011 runway show in Paris. Now nearing their tenth birthday it’s apparent that Rockstuds are here to stay. Most recently, the brand showcased its newest collection at Paris Fashion Week for Fall 2020, and Rockstuds made an appearance, popping up on brand new designs in ways both big and small. So can or should Rockstuds really be considered a classic now? Part of me says yes, but another part of me wants to say no—let’s discuss.

Classic—the word can mean a few different things and is actually a bit more complex when you do a deep dive into the word. On the one hand, according to Merriam-Webster, classic is defined as ‘historically memorable’ and/or ‘serving as a standard of excellence ie- a recognized value’. When you define classic in that way, one could definitely argue that yes, Rockstuds are in fact a true classic.

Ten years in fashion is an incredibly long time for any given item to last. For something to stick around for that long immediately indicates that an item is of value to the consumer. Also, ten years is indicative of a strong top of mind presence within the industry, which implies that an item is now part of fashion’s history.

When you think of classic in that way, it’s easy to argue that Rockstuds have in fact earned that coveted title. However, there’s another way to define the word that blurs the lines a little bit.

Classic: characterized by simple tailored lines in fashion year after year

Fashion’s definition of the word, according to Merriam-Webster, defines classic as being characterized by simple, tailored lines. Rockstuds are not simple, or clean—they’re loud, attention grabbing and instantly recognizable as ‘Valentino’. So where’s the middle ground here? Is calling Rockstuds classic contradictory? I think yes.

While there’s no doubt that Rockstuds have stood the test of time and are ingrained in fashion culture, time alone does not automatically deem something a classic. At this point I’d settle for calling them a staple in the luxury fashion world, but a true classic? Not this time.

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