A basic, unadorned shoe has virtually no reason to exist anymore. These days, it’s all about footwear with notice-me shelf appeal — extra buckles and wrapping straps, exposed zippers, ruffles, pleating, topstitching, earthy polished stones and flat studs. Even stretch-fit shoes, after several strong seasons, are trending downward because they curl up and don’t display decorative detail well, said several vendors planning to show at WWDMAGIC.
“The trend is overembellishment,” said Sheena
Parks, marketing director for El Segundo, Calif.-based Matisse Footwear. “Anything we can sew onto an upper, we’re using.”
The 10-year-old firm will bring three labels to the show: Matisse, at $27 to $64 wholesale; Coconuts, at $22 to $32, and The Mix, a new offering that was a Nordstrom exclusive in its first season, at $25 to $45.
In terms of color, blues and purples are expected to be strong for spring as well as dusty neutrals (tans, mushroom taupes, pale greens and rose beige). Metallics have become a staple in the customer’s wardrobe and are expected to run through spring.
Based on trend-scouting trips to Europe, vendors believe gladiators and peep-toe booties will continue as a consumer favorite.
Moreno Habif, president of Miami-based More Shoes, makers of the Enigma label, is offering gladiators with colorful, braided straps and contrast stitching. He’s also seen strong interest in double platform shoes, a look popularized by high-end label Giuseppe Zanotti.
Report Shoes, based in Bellevue, Wash., also is bullish on platform sandals, as well as high-drama, over-the-knee boots.
“Customers have been responding well to ruffles, prints and anything with hardware on it,” said Jeff Powers, Report’s senior vice president.
Chinese Laundry, which will bring its flagship label and three subbrands to the expo, is seeing block heels, espadrilles, stitching accents and burnished leathers fare well. The company will test shoes with macramé uppers for its CL by Laundry label for spring, said brand president Tsering Namgyal.
Flojos, in Thousand Oaks, Calif., also is seeing continued Seventies influences. The company feels strongly about its peace-sign Harmony flip-flops as well as animal exotics (boa, jaguar and zebra), said marketing executive Tiffany Eil.
Stewart Cohen, national account manager for Dreams, says the affordable junior brand will test huaraches alongside gladiators and peep-toe styles.
Along with trends, the City of Industry, Calif.-based company is focused on finishing details, such as rolled edges to hide seams, which aims to appeal to customers trading down from department stores.
“Our new designer, Jo Mortellaro, is traveling around the world to get new ideas about how to make our shoes look like a much more elevated brand,” Cohen said.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast