PARIS — Showrooms in Paris were back up and running and accessories brands presented highly optimistic spring 2022 collections to tap into women’s newfound appetite for dancing shoes, high shine and plenty of drama. At Roger Vivier, Gherardo Felloni proposed some of the highest heels he has ever designed for the Parisian house; up-and-coming brands like Mach & Mach and Iindaco quickly gained commercial traction for their candy-colored, crystal-embellished accessories, while contemporary mainstays such as By Far and Paris Texas were banking on the Y2K trend with hologram leather, trendy baguette bags and animal prints galore.
Here, WWD rounds up some of the strongest accessories for the upcoming season.
Mach & Mach: Georgian label Mach & Mach is probably one of the biggest new success stories on the footwear scene. Its signature pastel-hued pumps, embellished with the sparkliest, most photogenic bows, kept gaining steam in the last year and as the world opens up the label is becoming firmly established across major international retailers from Net-a-porter to Browns, Moda Operandi and Harrods. For spring 2022 it’s doubling down on all things glamorous and sparkly with new iterations of its popular pumps that now come in a rainbow of colors, ranging from trendy neon green to hologram leather and deep purple. Designers Nina and Gvantsa Macharashvili also played with new embellishments in the form of pearl strands and extra-large crystals and added some very of-the-moment, satin baguette bags to the mix featuring crystal embellishments spelling out words like “Princess.” The range can’t help but bring Paris Hilton and the booming Y2K trend to mind.
By Far: By Far is one of the contemporary labels that managed to hold on to its relevance, even as the market becomes saturated, thanks to its ability to tap into the zeitgeist, create Instagram buzz, and gain the favor of some of the internet’s most followed fashion personalities, from Kendall Jenner to Hailey Bieber and Margot Robbie. They are all regularly seen in its trendy baguette bags and barely there sandals. For spring 2022, presented via a digital showroom, founders Valentina Ignatova and Sabina Gyosheva went all in with the ’90s references, ticking many a trend box with their mini top handle and baguette bags, brightly hued clogs and PVC sandals. The hologram leather on some of the mini shoulder bags and neon green and pink hues seen all across summer sandals will no doubt keep Instagram’s trendy community coming back for more.
Paris Texas: The Roaring Twenties are finally here and women are showing real appetite for embracing the moment — and partying in some of the loudest and highest heels they’ve worn in a long time. Italian shoe label Paris Texas, already known for its brightly hued boots and flair for all things animal print — in the middle of lockdown some of its bestsellers included limited-edition crystal-encrusted stiletto boots — is standing firmly behind the trend for spring 2022 with one of its boldest collections to date. Think turquoise croc-effect or metallic zebra print boots; extra-high platform mules; crystal and PVC sandals, and metallic-hued wedges, which the designers refer to as a “super trend” for next spring. “We were very inspired by the party lifestyle and the idea of people celebrating, going out with friends and having fun. It seems like our customers are going out again and looking for heels for fun and special occasions. We cater mostly to this market and so there’s a big interest in Paris Texas from our customers who are looking to dress up again,” said Annamaria Brivio, the label’s cofounder.
Christian Louboutin: Christian Louboutin created his first genderless capsule for spring 2022, dubbed “Our Angels” and paying tribute to glam-rock icons with a range of block-heeled, platform boots that feature monochrome shades, animal print, or more elaborate floral embroideries as pictured here. The new capsule, which is available in sizes 36 to 46, was Louboutin’s way of continuing the conversation of “inclusivity and the joy of being one’s authentic self.”
Nodaleto: “It’s all about magic,” said Julia Toledano. For her latest spring 2022 shoe collection for Nodaleto, she wanted to capture the energy of natural light through feel-good pastel colors and rainbow patterns and pass on a message of optimism, as the world reopens. Cue lilac hues — “the color of hope” according to the designer — jewelry embellishments featuring good-vibration stones, and ombré textured fabrics capturing the colors of the sunset. They were applied on the brand’s signature square-toe, block heel Mary Janes and sandals as Toledano is set on offering timeless designs that don’t follow trend cycles. Some additions included square-toe flat boots and lace-up sandals done in sumptuous purple brocades.
Manu Atelier: Manu Atelier is introducing a handbag style for spring 2022, featuring a thicker strap than its usual dainty baguette styles and chunky chain embellishments. Instead of hosting its usual showroom space in Paris to launch the collection, the Istanbul-based label kept up to speed with the shifts in the market, sticking to the digital realm for sales appointments, and investing more in creating the right content and consequently enough buzz around its new season styles. To mark the opening of Paris Fashion Week, the label hosted a small lunch with some of its favorite content creators, who were then seen sporting the bag on their Instagram Stories. It’s also did a lot of wild posting of its new campaign — shot by Harley Weir and spotlighting the new bag — all over Paris.
Roger Vivier: Roger Vivier creative director Gherardo Felloni thinks it’s time to party again and is feeding his clients’ newfound appetite for dancing shoes with some of the highest heels he’s ever designed for the label. Cue glossy pink platform mules, glitter pumps, and metallic sandals featuring a new stiletto heel adorned with a large crystal cube — a nod to the crystal ball heels Roger Vivier had designed for Marlene Dietrich in the ’40s. “It’s a lot of party shoes, everything is joyful because we have to go out and be happy again. I’ve been a big fan of flats and kitten heels, but I now realize that women want to have that choice of higher heels and most shops now mostly sell sneakers and low heels only,” said Felloni.
Iindaco: Designers and friends Pamela Costantini and Domitilla Rapisardi started Iindaco amidst last year’s lockdown in order to bring sustainability and more democratic pricing into the world of luxury footwear. Drawing from past design experience in houses like Roberto Cavalli and Givenchy, they created fun, edgy collections with crystal heels featuring flame motifs, sequined embellishments and sexy, lace-up silhouettes. By using moiré fabrics instead of leather, biodegradable leather linings, and recycled materials for their heels they are keeping their sustainability standards high, too.
GiaBorghini x Rosie Huntington-Whiteley: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s minimalist flair has translated into big sales and plenty of buzz for Florentine footwear label Gia Borghini. Earlier this month, the second iteration of their collaboration, exclusively launched on Mytheresa, sold out within two days and during Paris Fashion Week, the brand unveiled the upcoming spring drop to buyers and press. Drawing from Borghini’s and Huntington-Whiteley’s mutual obsession with interiors, the collection features wooden wedges and heels made out of quartz or jade crystals, reflecting the color palette and materials in the model’s own home.
GiaBorghini: Gia Borghini debuted the first main-line collections designed alongside Danish influencer Pernille Teisbaek, who was tapped as the brand’s creative consultant earlier this year. The focus was on a natural color palette and fuss-free silhouettes featuring plenty of padding — which is fast becoming a brand signature. The idea was to offer comfortable shoes for women, who like Tesibaek and Borghini, lead busy lives, juggle motherhood with work, and need smart solutions.
Marici: Sustainable label Marici launched last year in direct response to the environmental crisis and fashion’s impact on the planet. It offers an alternative to leather or faux leather bags, using the plant-based material Pinatex derived from offcuts from the pineapple industry. Given the increased focus on conscious consumption it quickly built an audience, launching its accessories collection in Selfridges and more recently opening its first standalone store in London’s South Kensington area. For spring 2022, it’s expanding its offer with stylish mini totes and clutch bags in neutral and metallic shades.
Kassl: Handbags might have started as a small side project for Kassl — it was a creative way to use up the fabric leftovers from its signature coats — but they’ve now grown into a full-fledged business. The Amsterdam-based label has kept expanding its offer of coated cotton tote bags — roomy and puffy enough to double as pillows — and is introducing a hobo style in everything from supersized shapes for travel to more compact ones for everyday use. The label has been flexing its muscles in new categories, too, with an Asics sneaker collaboration launching later this year and a set of cozy chairs made out of its signature leathers that Bottega Veneta has also picked up for its boutiques.
Malone Souliers: London-based Malone Souliers opted out of Paris Fashion Week this season, connecting with buyers digitally and turning its focus on new projects, like the brand’s upcoming collaboration with the hit Netflix show “Bridgerton” and a digital made-to-order service launching this month. In the same spirit of doing things a little differently, founder Mary Alice Malone channeled a new energy in her spring 2022 designs with novelty heels shaped like diamonds — a first for the brand — extra large embellishments and pastels galore. “It’s bright, upbeat and carefree and I had so much fun playing with tone and translucency. I want people to feel energetic and happy,” she said.
Wandler: Elza Wandler keeps refreshing and refining her core bag collections with striking colors and sleek, minimal shapes. For spring 2022 she kept things fresh with a palette of soft pastels and highlighted new bag styles, like the Penelope crossbody bag. “There should be a balance showing new items and yet not overload the market,” said Wandler who makes a point to add touches of newness every season while returning to bestsellers like her Hortensia moon-shaped totes and Georgia baguettes.
JiiJ: Ieva Juskaite launched footwear label JiiJ amid the lockdown, following much introspection and understanding the need for fashion-forward shoes at a more inclusive size range. As someone who wears size 43 shoes, Juskaite’s options had always been limited to sneakers or made-to-order shoes, so she’s addressing the issue with JiiJ, which offers cool Mary Jane pumps, loafers and cutout leather boots that work across genders and are available from sizes 36 to 46. The shoes, which are made using apple leather, are already gaining traction among the fashion community and the label’s debut campaign was splashed all across Paris’ streets during fashion week.
Okhtein: With fresh investment from Bidayat — the investment vehicle founded by Valentino board chairman and Mayhoola chief executive officer Rachid Mohamed Rachid — Okhtein is feeling confident and doubling down on its core aesthetic, which is all about glamour and paying homage to its Egyptian heritage. Its new spring range featured bold styles with plenty of crystal and feather embellishments or carved brass details. As it looks ahead, the label said that it plans to use the funds from Bidayat to strengthen its e-commence business and expand its store network, following the opening of its Cairo flagship.
Pierre Hardy debuts new “Planet” sustainable range.
Pierre Hardy: Hardy is ramping up his sustainability commitments with a range called Planet. The footwear maverick has worked with suppliers to create his most sustainable collections to date for fall 2021 and spring 2022, using sustainable nylon fabrics, vegetable-tanned leather and recycled packaging. “This isn’t a look or a style, it’s a way of thinking and a new approach,” said Hardy, explaining that he kept signature styles in the line, like his graphic-printed mules and sporty heels, reworking them in more eco-friendly materials. “It’s a new way of creativity and I think it will merge more and more with the regular collections, simply because it will have to be.”
Vanina: Beirut-based Vanina has kept going despite the instability in Beirut, by keeping close ties with the Lebanese capital’s artisans and producing one-of-a-kind, handmade pieces featuring shells and glass beads. Structured circle-shaped styles and mini tote bags featuring beaded fringes were among the highlights — offering a refreshing departure from the more generic minimalist leather pieces seen all across the market. The brand’s clear point of difference has caught the eye of retailers like Net-a-porter, Browns and Luisa Via Roma and there are also plans to expand into clothing from next season, which will adopt the same heavily embellished, handmade approach.
Aeyde: For all the demand for high platforms and sparkly Princess shoes, some labels are staying committed to minimalism and functionality for spring. Berlin-based Aeyde is one such label, building on the commercial success of its contemporary-priced boots — a wardrobe staple for many fashion insiders — with the launch of the Luis, a sleek new take on the cowboy boot, refined with curved lines that reference the Bauhaus movement.
Moynat: New creative director Nicholas Knightly has been spending much time in the house’s archives and slowly but surely introducing new bag styles, informed by the brand’s long trunk-making history. Among the highlights were a series of minaudière bags, modeled after archival trunks. The circular Wheel bag was inspired by the shape of old Moynat cases designed for car owners to hold tires.
Delvaux: Belgian luxury handbag label Delvaux also stuck to the digital realm for spring 2022, introducing a new bag style that aims to “bring its rich past into the present.” The bag, which can be worn cross-body, has a more laid-back feel and features an oversized “D” buckle made out of a single brass bar.
Pellegrino: Veteran accessories designer Renaud Pellegrino designed the Noor, a glamorous day-to-night bag with a detachable bejeweled chain that can be worn as a belt, with two women in mind: former jewelry editor Anne-Sophie Mignaux-Kamar, and his label’s CEO Sotévy Ly, who had bonded over their shared commitment to charities supporting women and children. Named after Mignaux-Kamar’s newborn daughter, profits from the sales of this limited-edition purse will be donated to Plan International, a development and humanitarian organization working across the world to advance children’s rights and equality for girls.
Hermès: At Hermès, the sheer luxury of its ready-to-wear line and iconic status of its best-known purses often drown out the tongue-in-cheek outlook of its designs, which turn its equestrian and leather craft heritage into a seemingly bottomless well from which spring everything from enamel ear cuffs and lacquered bangles to a pixelated mini version of its Kelly bag and finger-skate bag charms. Leading the race, the Maximors bag, a miniature duffel shape with an extra-large horsebit as a handle.