From left: Balenciaga SS17; Gucci Aria collection and Diesel SS22.

Is it a pair of jeans or is it a pair of boots? No, it’s a pair of pantashoes. This trousers and footwear hybrid has been causing a stir on social media after Kanye West’s new squeeze Julia Fox was spotted wearing Diesel’s grey washed jeans-boots with brown leather trims while the two were on a date. 

Related article: Why Is Visible Underwear All Over The Red Carpet?

In a “who wore it best” situation, some were quick to compare Julia to Ye’s ex, Kim Kardashian who has rocked a similar style on multiple occasions such as the 2021 MET Gala and Saturday Night Live. On the other hand, the rest of us were left scratching our heads on this perplexing garment. As it turns out, the pantashoe has an equally complicated origin story.

Balenciaga’s creative director Demna Gvasalia can be accredited for turning the garment into a viral sensation when his version debuted during the brand’s Spring/Summer 2017 runway, but this one-piece clothing dates to the 60s. 

Footwear designer Tamara Mellon was the first to revive it during her time at Jimmy Choo in 2013 after being inspired by PVC legging boots that were worn under miniskirts or minidresses during the 60s. Tamara also didn’t like the the distinct line that appears when a pair of leather leggings meet an ankle boot. Thus, the sleek and modern variation was born.

Celebrities such as Karlie Kloss, Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian were spotted wearing Tamara’s legging boots in 2013 and 2014. However, it did not pick up much traction beyond a handful of celebrities and their fans until three years later – when Demna took the reins of Balenciaga. 

Related article: Gucci & Balenciaga’s Hacker Project Is Here

Fashionistas around the world were enthralled by Demna’s brightly hued, spandex pieces when they hit the runway. It eventually became one of the most talked-about accessories of the season.

Of course, this comes as no surprise as Demna, who was also the creative director of Vetements at that time, was celebrated for his subversive designs. In the last couple of years, Balenciaga’s status as one of the most sought-after luxury streetwear brands is also a testament to Demna’s creative prowess. 

Demna had another popular boot from the Vetements SS17 collection that featured metallic extreme thigh-high heeled boots in collaboration with footwear legend Manolo Blahnik. Celebrities such as Rihanna and Dua Lipa were some of the stars strutting these boots. 

But what did Tamara think of the revitalised design on someone else’s runway? 

In an interview with InStyle in December 2016, Tamara revealed that she was flattered that Balenciaga had put their spin on it and gave the idea more validity among consumers. Tamara released an updated version of her classic legging boots in black suede and stretch leather through her independent label shortly after the SS17 Fashion Week.

Balenciaga’s pantashoes made its rounds on the Internet, magazines and red carpets, dying down in 2018 and only made appearances in Balenciaga collections in 2019 and 2020. 

However, 2021 saw the rise of the pantashoes. Saint Laurent showcased its variation – Pantaboots – in leather, tweed, suede and denim for its Pre-Fall collection. 

Tamara and supermodel Irina Shayk teamed up to breathe new life into the classic pantashoe by introducing a flat combat boot variant. Gucci joined the pack with The Hacker Project maxi GG pantaleggings as part of their collaboration with Balenciaga.

Of course, we can’t forget Diesel’s 1956 jeans with boots for men and women in their SS22 collection, which is the first Diesel collection helmed by Glenn Martens, creative director of Paris-based label Y/Project.

Although the jury is still out on pantashoes, especially after tons of mixed reviews online, we won’t be seeing the last of it anytime soon. Well, not if Kim and Julia have anything to say about it. 

Who knows? The panatshoes might evolve and reach new heights.