With the launch of their signature Achilles silhouette in 2004, Common Projects founders Peter Poopat and Flavio Girolami struck just the right balance of minimalist design and quality construction that makes the brand’s sleek men’s low-top highly identifiable, yet somewhat elusive; comfortable and casual yet polished. Cue the fans of the clean and understated sneaker, made of premium Italian leather and customized with a discreet ten-digit gold-stamped style number on the heel, a brand hallmark.

“Our customers love the simplicity and versatility of the brand. They’re a great sneaker to wear with a pair of jeans or even a suit—they cater to a very broad customer base,” says Chris Pepe, Barneys senior buyer of men’s footwear and creator of BNY Sole Series.

As to not venture too far from the iconic style for our BNY Sole Series exclusive, “we thought it was a good idea to stick with what they are known for, but add our spin to it,” Pepe says. “We wanted the shoes to still have the simple feel, but apply some sort of unique application.” So Barneys added visual interest to two classic Achilles colorways, black and white (available in men’s and women’s), by increasing the gauge of the perforations and adding a colored underlay.

“Common Projects is one of our longest partnerships in footwear among the brands that participated in Sole Series; we’ve carried them since 2006,” Pepe adds. “There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the brand this year, so it was fitting to round out the year with them.”

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