MILAN — The selection of accessories for spring reflected the energy felt during a buzzy Milan Fashion Week.
Platforms and dainty high-heeled sandals were everywhere, often embellished with shiny details and crystals, for women ready to go out and party. Bags were generally structured, carefully crafted and also enriched by stones and handmade details. Sustainability remains an increasingly key priority as brands evolve to include upcycled or recycled materials.
Here, WWD rounds up of some of the most directional accessories presented in Milan:
“Euphoric glamour” was the theme of Jimmy Choo creative director Sandra Choi’s spring 2022 collection — and the designs were quintessential Jimmy Choo. Choi, who was inspired by nature’s constant evolution, reinterpreted classic styles and shapes with bold new touches and statement hues such as fuchsia and lime green. “I remember sitting in my kitchen in the [English] countryside, when we were still fresh in the [pandemic] moment — and I saw my garden have this orchestra of colors and flowers and different movements coming in and going out,” she recalled. “It was never boring and it was so powerful. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s rain or shine as it happens. This kind of energy, it’s powerful — and that set the backdrop of what I wanted to do.”
Conceived around the concept of a shoe bar, Gianvito Rossi’s spring collection focused on several key styles, including a new platform sandal with a plexi upper, high stiletto heel and sharp pointy toe. Made in glossy patent leather, the style’s vibrant color palette also stood out. “The platform is very important,” the designer said. “I wanted to make it in a sandal on a pointy-toe shape.” On the softer side, a minimal two-strap sandal was made in chenille fabric, an alternative to velvet. “Finally we see a great comeback of dressing up again — heels, elegance, a renaissance,” Rossi said.
Bulgari introduced the dainty Serpenti jewelry box bag, inspired by a silver jewelry box from the 1920s, as part of the Bulgari Heritage collection. Its sculpted top is reminiscent of the brand’s precious faceted stones and the bag has a hidden internal compartment on the case’s bottom. Bulgari also presented the Serpenti hobo bag with a new thick Spiga chain combined with an adjustable leather strap that can be adapted to multiple lengths for a crossbody option.
The ’90s club scene inspired Sergio Rossi‘s new SI Rossi collection, and the Italian footwear brand exuded a glamorous and modern spirit. An eye-catching sculptural chunky heel stood out in the lineup, which included mules, sandals and pumps crafted from an array of materials, spanning from soft leather and satin to patent leather and cork. Exalting a bold attitude, the rich shoe offering was worked in a palette focused on vibrant tones of sky blue, hot pink and yellow, while rhinestone decorations put the focus on the collection’s dance floor-ready vibe.
Giuseppe Zanotti offered out-of-this-world designs for spring 2022 that fit well with his planet-themed presentation. “These are shoes for a cocktail on another planet…for a cool party on Mars,” Zanotti said of his Bebe strass platform sandals, which feature multicolored rhinestones that cover the heel. Sky-high platforms played prominently across the collection — Ariana Grande wore a custom pair for her wedding in May — and Zanotti said they’re a top performer among buyers for spring. “They were number one in terms of sales for the main collection,” he said. Other highlights included a new geometric wedge, inspired by a Y2K archival style, a minimal Plexi mule and Plexi pointed-toe sandal.
The Giusti sisters behind AGL had the needs of many women covered with this spring collection. In addition to the brand’s signature chunky-soled styles – which played with proportions and textures this season featuring upper parts in pastel-toned tulle — the lineup offered plenty of options from day to night. These ranged from flat sandals with leather crocheted bands and super soft loafers punctuated by rhinestones to high-heeled mules with rubber soles for enhanced comfort and sexy leather boots, which managed to steal the spotlight despite the strong competitors in the collection.
Valextra revisited some of its storied and signature designs such as the Tric Trac, which dates back to 1968 and was revisited with bright, pop color combinations and a detachable strap that allows it to be worn crossbody. The Italian brand also developed transparent raincoats with an entirely recyclable material comprising 20 percent of recycled plastic that protect Iside bag. A macramé embroidery was also appliquéd to the raincoat and there was a version in terrycloth.
For spring, Pollini’s creative director Natalia Battaglini wanted to celebrate the return to conviviality. “We developed a collection that could be as fitting as possible with this renewed desire to live,” she said, explaining that she looked at picnics to channel this sense of freedom and positivity. As a result, she crafted soft textures and referenced natural elements via ‘70s-inspired platforms and high-heeled wooden clogs defined by leather upper parts in essential lines, with woven leather straps as well as printed with floral motifs. While these options came in earthy shades, Battaglini injected energetic colors in slingback sandals and mules featuring torchon-shaped, sculptural heels.
“This collection is all about celebrating life and having fun again,” Aquazzura creative director Edgardo Osorio said spring — and for him, that means statement heels. The highlight? His new mirrored pump. “What I love about this is the heel. It looks like you’re walking on air. It has this graphic plexi effect, which is sexy and strong,” Osorio said.
During a presentation at its charming Villa Mozart headquarters, Serapian introduced the “1928” bag revisiting the house’s iconic Mosaico hand-woven technique in bigger proportions. Named after the year of the brand’s founding and available in classic black and white shades as well as in the summery blush, yellow and aquamarine colors, the leather style is embellished by a Mosaico-shaped metal lock featuring precious stones — including malachite, rhodochrosite and amethyst — and is customizable.
Santoni‘s timeless sophistication found a perfect stage in the courtyard of Milan’s Palazzo Crespi, where the brand chose to present its spring collection. In keeping with the label’s heritage, men’s wear touches, including double buckles and tassels, were incorporated into feminine styles. They included elegant slingbacks with chunky heels and squared toes, and cage-like sandals, while classic loafer construction inspired the new playful clogs. Delicate knots also peppered gracious slingbacks with kitten or more sculptural heels. Intense, vibrant colors, such as bright green, orange, teal and lilac, added extra appeal to the sophisticated shoe offering.
Hogan is continuing its sustainable journey via its Hogan-3R range. Drawing from its own archives, it reinterpreted the “Traditional” style, a luxury, chunky-soled sneaker originally introduced in 1986 by brothers Andrea and Diego Della Valle. Crafted from sustainable white canvas and featuring a regenerated mustard yellow outsole, the shoes are available in a low-top and high-top version. “It was overdue to reinterpret a company’s icon in light of our commitment to sustainability to engage younger generations,” said Andrea Della Valle, Hogan’s president and vice president of the brand’s parent Tod’s Group. He stressed that the Hogan-3R project — aimed at leaving a better world to younger people — already “represents a large portion of the Hogan world and this was possible because we managed to anticipate the [eco-friendly] trend…and were able to forge ties with our suppliers, which have become increasingly aware and equipped to face the challenges.”
Making sustainability a priority, Furla revisited its signature Candy handbag, which marks its 10th anniversary this year. Re-Candy is made of recycled plastics and produced by an Italian company powered exclusively by electric energy from certified renewable sources. To avoid the use of polluting inks, the Re-Candy name and the Furla logo have been embossed on the body of the bag, which is available in a palette of bright hues, from pink and purple to orange and lime green.
For its spring collection, Casadei has been thinking about women who want to groove and party again. It translated into a selection of edgy platform designs with a ’70s flair, including a clog-style mule done in popsicle-colored sleek vinyl leather and glitter sandals with crisscrossed straps. For more demure and romantic ladies, the brand has also teamed up with storied silk specialist Mantero Seta, developing a small capsule collection comprising a pump, sandal and wedge splashed with a floral pattern drawn from the archives and crafted from Resilk, a GRS-certified regenerated silk.
Best known for its signature ankle-wrapping motif donning sensuality to high-heeled sandals and biker boots alike, this season René Caovilla veered toward a more romantic direction with its Lolita style. Crafted from delicate, laminated lace and punctuated by crystals embellishments, the squared toe sandal was rendered in popping shades including a vibrant acid green option that is perfect for a modern day, empowered Cinderella.
Rodo emphasized the craftsmanship it is known for with clutches and sandals that were embellished with crystals. Named after the birth of Venus, the clutch was made to resemble a shell and the stones had the colors of the ocean. The Italian brand also presented a series of pretty bags in wicker — a storied tradition for Rodo — perfect for any summer outing.
Fratelli Rossetti celebrated its iconic loafer Brera, first introduced in 1968, with a video and a series of illustrations. The company also revisited the style with the Special Embroidery line splashed with bold patterns and vibrant colors as well as enriched with handmade details, including the ARERB lettering stitched on one side and mirroring the name of the model. “This tribute to the Brera stems from the awareness that the future starts from our roots, especially at this particular historical juncture,” said the company’s chief executive officer Luca Rossetti. “Our history is the asset with which we must optimistically face the challenges that lie ahead in the coming seasons.”
After years of seasonal experimentations, Nicolò Beretta has found his footing as a power player in the shoe industry with his Giannico brand, so it came as no surprise that his grown-up and business-savvy attitude led him to expanding his signature styles in a range of new options for spring, capitalizing on commercial hits. “It represents the ideal shoe closet for our clients,” enthused Beretta describing the new lineup, which comprised a new raffia clog embellished with the signature crystal buckle, as well as hyper feminine cage sandals punctuated by tiny crystals or accented by little silver buckles.
Geox‘s president Mario Moretti Polegato is confident that the company’s strategy is paying back. “We’re in tune with the market, customers love our products, which have fashion cred and are sustainable,” he said at the presentation of the spring collection. According to CEO Livio Libralesso, recovery is in full swing and a renewed focus on China and the U.S. is in the pipeline. The collection continued to strike a balance between comfort, performance and style. While the more formal options included mid- and low-heeled sandals with ruffles and floral appliqué in blush nuances, Geox also further expanded its Spherica sneaker range, for the first time crafted from the regenerated and renewable Econyl fabric – a sign of the brand’s ongoing commitment to sustainability – as well as in a suede trekking sandal version.
Borsalino’s spring collection — the first to include small leather goods and soft accessories developed with licensing partners — was inspired across categories by the travels of the company’s founder Giuseppe Borsalino. Creative curator Giacomo Santucci translated the escapism theme in three families of products inspired by Japan with bucket hats decorated with pendants and pins; Sicily, with cloches in crocheted, floral-patterned raffia, and South America, with Borsalino’s styles embellished with bows bearing Peruvian and Andean multicolored patterns.
Although Dorian Tarantini and Matteo Mena of hip brand M1992 were tapped to revisit Borbonese’s DNA and expand its ready-to-wear offering, the storied Italian brand is best known and successful for its accessories range. Weaving together deadstock logoed straps found in the brand’s warehouses, the duo developed cloche hats, as well as shoppers — practical and cool for a day at the beach — and smaller accessories including bottle holders worn crossbody.
Drawing from ’80s nostalgia for high-top trainers with a basketball inflection and street cred, Philippe Model Paris introduced “La Grande” sneakers available in three colorways, including all-white and two other colorful iterations, all boasting a vintage and distressed feel.
Milan-based indie accessories label Themoiré expanded its offer of sustainable bags, introducing the new Aria style for spring. A one-size model that can be carried cross-body or by hand, the squared bag evokes inflated balloons through soft vertical folds. The brand also continued to explore new solutions in terms of materials, this time including styles in recycled nylon coming from used fishing nets and in straw realized by recycling PP from the manufacturing process of plastic containers.
Ara Lumiere, the Indian brand established by Kulsum Shadab Wahab who employs female survivors of acid attacks, brought a touch of creative eccentricity with its spring headpiece collection digitally presented at Milan Fashion Week. Focused on exploring the multifaceted concept of vulnerability, the offering strikes a balance between structure and fluidity with its eye-catching hats. For example, a dramatic design showed multiple layers of tulle matched with long fringes creating a medusa-like effect; two bucket hats in contrasting colors were piled up and decorated with tulle while delicate feathers created a sort of crown, evoking a ’30s cloche.
Debuting at Milan Fashion Week this year, emerging label Traffico stood out with its retro aesthetics. Founded in 2019, the brand is designed by Marco Antonio Marra, who was inspired by his passion for cinema — and close-ups of shoes in movies, specifically — to establish the label. The squared toe shoes he presented in a special showcase at the Rinascente department store revisited classics such as the mary jane style and mid-heeled slingback models via geometric cutouts and masculine touches.