Ordinarily, this column has rules, an enclosed rhythm: visit store, take in its offerings, offer impressions. But this is not how most of my — or anyone’s — actual shopping is done. It is a longitudinal, polyvalent process. It happens on the couch or on the phone as often as in a store. It is about chasing a specific thing as often as it is about the happenstance of discovery. And it is about failure. So much of shopping is about coming up short. By percentage, most of my time devoted to shopping is unsuccessful: styles that don’t work, garments that don’t fit well, wild goose chases. Since last fall, I’ve been failing in spectacular, repeated, mortifying fashion in the pursuit of one particular item: Balenciaga Triple S sneakers, in the beige, green and yellow colorway. But all those disappointments made for an excellent case study on the way we shop today: the collapse between the luxury marketplace and street wear-inspired drops, the ways in which the perfect-information promise of internet commerce is a sham, how the hype cycle has become a series of unnavigable spikes and also a long arc all at once. Read more at The New York Times.