Cyberpunk Fashion Meets Glam Rock: The Next Chapter

Cyberpunk fashion may be the defining trend of post-COVID style

While we’re all familiar with luxury loungewear by now, it goes without saying that many are ready for what’s next. What do the upcoming seasons of luxury fashion hold for our closets, in a post-pandemic landscape, with a renewed collective appreciation for freedom of movement and interaction?

Luxury loungewear isn’t the only rising designer trend

Labels like Dolce & Gabbana gave us bold futuristic outfits inspired by glam rock and punk rock fashion on their Fall-Winter 2021 runways—along with literal future-facing models controlled by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cutting-edge robotics.

shop heron preston on italistVery much a departure from the brand’s “Sicilian dress” retro sensibility, Elle called the collection a “technicolor rave” of “e-girl to the nth degree,” with “no stone of cheeky futurism left unturned.” In other words, a full-throttle launch into an elevated take on the futuristic outfit.

dolce & gabbana fall 2021 runway cyberpunk fashion glam rock collection
Dolce & Gabbana Fall-Winter 2021 runway
dolce & gabbana fall 2021 runway cyberpunk fashion glam rock collection
Dolce & Gabbana Fall-Winter 2021 runway

Futuristic fashion or a dive back into the 80’s?

Celebs like Lady Gaga have consistently eschewed the slouchy, pared-back aesthetic of the last few years, instead opting for a return to glam rock aesthetics that feel simultaneously like a nod to the past and a nudge toward the future.

Her love of metallics, sky-high stilettos, and embellishments like spikes is in direct opposition to the luxury loungewear that’s dominated the fashion space over the last few years.

glam rock punk rock fashion inspired by lady gaga
Metallic, iridescent, and studded fashion inspired by Lady Gaga

Pieces like N°21’s crystal choker necklace and Dr. Marten’s iridescent combat boots are easy ways to dabble in the cyberpunk fashion, glam rock space, à la Gaga, without completely overhauling your closet or getting rid of your comfy sweats.

See our guide to wearing combat boots with 3 ways to style them, from classic pairings to avant-garde statement looks.

Glam Rock designer staples to pair with new trends

Speaking of cyberpunk fashion, Valentino’s Rockstud studded sandals for women are a familiar designer staple that pair very well with new trends.

First introduced by the label in 2010 (the same year as Givenchy’s iconic Antigona bag), the Rockstud motif has come to define an entire generation of Valentino-lovers. It appears across categories, from bags to shoes to ready to wear, and establishes a new chapter for the label, which was known mainly for formalwear and eveningwear, not “it-shoes” or “it-bags.”

valentino rockstud studded sandals for women italist
Valentino Rockstud sandals

Eleven years later, the motif remains relevant as fashion moves toward an edgier, futuristic vision of glamour. The studs themselves signal strength—a sort of protective armor—while also catching and reflecting light and giving the wearer a metallic sparkle.

They are a consistently best-selling style on italist, and come in about every imaginable iteration, from stiletto pumps to flat sandals to sneakers.

Valentino Garavani (the name of the sub-label dedicated to accessories) Rockstud spikes also appear on bags, and are beloved in carried form for the same reasons they’re fun to wear on your feet. Bold, a little ‘in your face,’ and all sorts of sparkly.

valentino garavani rockstud spike bags
Valentino Garavani Rockstud studded bags

For 2021, Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli developed a new twist on the rockstud: a larger pyramid stud (pictured above on bags and shoes).

Both versions of the Rockstud spikes continue to charm shoppers who enjoy a nod to cyberpunk fashion without sacrificing classic quality and craftsmanship.

shop heron preston on italistDiscover more futuristic fashion coverage.

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About the Author

Alex English is the Head of Content Marketing at, building on a lifelong passion for fashion and luxury. After publishing a lifestyle blog for nearly ten years and obtaining an MBA in Milan at SDA Bocconi, one of Europe’s top business schools, he joined the italist team in 2019. His work since then has focused on upper-funnel messaging, brand storytelling, establishing italist as a thought leader in the space, and enriching the customer experience on the platform. Find him on LinkedIn.