These gravity-defying Hermès sandals are made for ‘raving in the desert’

First seen at the Hermès S/S 2023 womenswear show in Paris, the sculptural ‘Gaia’ sandal is designed to feel like the wearer is floating on air

Hermès sandals, Gaia, with sculptural sole
‘Gaia’ red calfskin sandals, £2,600, by Hermès
(Image credit: Photography by Neil Godwin at Future Studios for Wallpaper*, Fashion by Jason Hughes)

A feeling of elevation defines these gravity-defying sandals from Hermès, which first appeared in the French house’s S/S 2023 womenswear show in Paris. There, they bounced over a set evocative of a desert landscape – complete with a sand dune in its centre, which came alive with shimmering projections as the show went on – part of a wider collection Hermès’ head of womenswear Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski described as ‘a rave in the desert’. 

‘Gaia’: Gravity-defying Hermès sandals

A model wearing a light brown hooded leather knee high coat and shorts and leather sandals.

The sandals appeared as part of Hermès’ S/S 2023 show

(Image credit: Courtesy of Hermès)

Defying the sandals’ seemingly vertiginous form, the as-ever fastidious construction of the Hermès atelier and astute eye of Pierre Hardy, who designs the house’s footwear, ensure that these are as much of a pleasure to wear as they are to behold. Case in point, the sculptural sole itself, which is formed from carbon both resistant and lightweight. The French designer says that he wants the wearer to feel like they are floating in space when the sandals are on their feet.

Arriving in a variety of hues that coordinate with the collection’s looks, they reflect the feeling of lightness and liberation at the heart of Vanhee-Cybulski’s S/S 2023 outing. Described by the house as a ‘return to a life in the heart of nature’ – design references include tents, mosquito nets and hammocks, reimagined in luxurious style – it is a collection made for getting outside, letting loose, and, as Vanhee-Cybulski noted post-show, dancing all night.

A version of this story appears in the May 2023 Issue of Wallpaper*, available now in print, on the Wallpaper* app on Apple iOS, and to subscribers of Apple News +. Subscribe to Wallpaper* today

Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*, joining the team in 2022. Having previously been the digital features editor at AnOther and digital editor at 10 and 10 Men magazines, he has also contributed to titles including i-D, Dazed, 10 Magazine, Mr Porter’s The Journal and more, while also featuring in Dazed: 32 Years Confused: The Covers, published by Rizzoli. He is particularly interested in the moments when fashion intersects with other creative disciplines – notably art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and reporting from international fashion weeks. Across his career, he has interviewed the fashion industry’s leading figures, including Rick Owens, Pieter Mulier, Jonathan Anderson, Grace Wales Bonner, Christian Lacroix, Kate Moss and Manolo Blahnik.

With contributions from