There’s nothing like a good collaboration to up the ante when it comes to runway shoes. Mechante of London created nine varieties for William Tempest’s presentation on Sept. 15, and many of them were brightly hued platform sandals. Mechante designer Deborah Lyons said the footwear collection was inspired by “pre-Raphaelite artists and mythological women of the sea.” Both brands are sold in Harrods and Boutique 1, and representatives said they hope U.K. department stores will pick up the footwear collection, along with others.
Similarly, Suno called upon Loeffler Randall for its spring ’11 show. The two Loeffler Randall styles — a platform lace-up wedge and a strappy flat — were outfitted in Suno’s signature vibrant canvas fabrics. The shoes were created especially for the presentation, but will be available at Opening Ceremony and at Loefflerrandall.com in February.
Meanwhile, Steve Madden joined forces with Zac Posen for the Z Spoke runway show. Madden designed three styles for the collection: a metallic wedge in black and green, a corset bootie and a wooden-heeled pump. The shoes were created exclusively for the runway and will not be sold at retail.
Designers are launching footwear collections left and right this season. Whether it’s established names finally adding shoes to their repertoires, or accessories brands ramping up their presence and expanding on the shoe floors, it indicates that the economy might be back on track.
Among the newcomers is Jason Wu, who launched his first footwear collection for spring, pairing his ready-to-wear with four original styles. The shoes, which included platforms with a signature “horn” heel and a strappy flat, are made of varying textures, from Karung lizard to patent leather, but will all feature the designer’s new gray soles and owl icon, named “Miss Wu.” The footwear line will be available in 30 stores internationally, including Bergdorf Goodman and Lane Crawford.
Phillip Lim also took footwear in-house for spring, debuting his first eponymous shoe collection on the runway at the gritty Park Avenue Armory site. Clog-inspired wooden platform sandals and suede ankle booties with ostrich heel details accompanied Lim’s layered runway looks.
Rebecca Minkoff joined the footwear club this season, too, launching a shoe collection with perforations and punches of color in printed calf hair and leather. CEO Uri Minkoff said the brand is experiencing 90 percent growth for the year and called footwear a key ingredient in the company’s continued success. The shoe line is inspired by traditional glamour and 1970s flare and will retail for $160 to $395.
Urban Outfitters Inc.-owned Leifsdottir unveiled seven shoe styles inspired by the curves and detailing of Scandinavian furniture at its Lincoln Center presentation. Cantilevered heels and multi-piece platforms showcased the fusion of traditional and modern elements, while hidden wedges and padded footbeds catered to comfort. For Leifsdottir, footwear is part of a step-by-step approach to expanding the brand.