This story first appeared in the January 10, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
That’s what Stephanie Solomon, vice president of fashion direction at Bloomingdale’s, has to say about the new flat footwear trend. She, along with many other retailers, are embracing sensible shoes in a big way this year, noting that they go hand in hand with the soon-to-be-popular lower hemlines.
“It really speaks to the boho spirit we saw on the runways,” said Ken Downing, Neiman Marcus’ senior vice president and fashion director.
Liz Rodbell, executive vice president of merchandising at Lord & Taylor, predicts that this year will also reveal an “emergence of lower heels, such as the single-soled pointed-toe pump,” but for those looking for a substantial vertical boost, the platform remains key. “It’s the best of both worlds,” said Colleen Sherin, fashion director of Saks Fifth Avenue. “It’s flat, there’s no pitch, but you’re still getting the height.”
There’s one comfort shoe that doesn’t make the cut, however — at least according to Lane Crawford’s Sarah Rutson. “Flat shoes — from the open-toe sandal to a ballerina flat — sell very well,” she remarks, “but if you are talking about a nerdy-looking flat, then no, that doesn’t work.”