Retail Guide: Spring Trend Forecast

Mark Goldstein
CEO, Madison

“For spring, we’re seeing color, specifically pink, turquoise and coral. We feel pointy, single-soled pumps will be important for the season. Short ankle boots by Rag & Bone and Fiorentini & Baker continue to be strong. We like the sneakers by Golden Goose and Ash. Valentino also has a lot in its collection that excites us. Rock-studded pumps, gladiators, flip-flops and, of course, Chloé scalloped ballet flats are a staple for us.”

Tom Kalenderian
GMM & EVP of men’s & Chelsea Passage, Barneys New York

“Fashion high-top sneakers in bright colors and wingtips remain the two strongest trends. Ironically, Thom Browne combined both trends in one. He created a pair of wingtips on a track sneaker sole. We really liked what we saw in the early markets from Christian Louboutin because the collection is outrageous and in short supply. His shoes tend to feed into all the emotions of the obsessive-compulsive shoe collector. I also thought the Prada collection was exceptional. The combination of brush-off spazzolato leathers in bright colors juxtaposed with heavily bedazzled styles made this collection a show-stopper.”

Alison Callaway
Trend & styling manager, Zappos.com

“Neon, tribal and mirrored metallics will continue to be strong influences across the women’s collections. We also have seen ultra-matte finishes appearing in the form of a powdered coating, as well as dulled metallics and surface effects consisting of shattered, crackled and crinkled finishes. Perforation continues as well, showing the influence of the Olympics and sporting looks. This past spring really opened the door for color in men’s footwear and it’s looking strong going forward. Pops of color and unexpected brightness are still being seen in shades of canary yellow, bright reds and neons. White also seems to be emerging as a key color. For the fashion-forward guy, metallic and luxe finishes are finding their way onto all types of silhouettes, from dress shoes to athletic sneakers. We’re seeing men’s hybrids growing in popularity with a formal upper being blended with a more sporty and functional outsole. L.A.M.B., Joan & David and Rebecca Minkoff did a fabulous job adding neon color pops with interesting material and color-blockings.”

Christine Campbell
Owner, Crimson Mim

“Color is the big story for next spring. Pink seems to be in everyone’s collection, which we can’t ever recall seeing. We’re also seeing some cobalt blue. There will be more color-blocking, with two vibrant colors, one color and a metallic, or a mixture of multiple materials, textures and colors per shoe. The textures we saw in early markets that look good are snake print, in fresh colors such as orange and blue, braided leathers, raffia and printed PVC, and we liked a lot of printed fabrics with their exciting and colorful florals and abstract prints. We’re also excited for the ladylike pump with a slightly pointier toe in new fabrics and colors on a 75-millimeter heel. Bettye Muller’s colors are right on trend. Her heel heights are wearable, and her price points are extremely sharp for such a quality product. We’re also excited about Rachel Comey’s new styles because they’re fashion-forward, while still realistic and wearable.”

BETH KANFER
Fashion & co-branding director, handbags, soft accessories, shoes & jewelry, Saks Fifth Avenue

“We are reacting to several distinct color palettes: black-and-white combinations, neon colors and pink. The largest trends we’re focusing on are casual espadrilles, single-sole sandals, ankle-wrap sandals and interesting single-sole pumps. We are very excited to launch the Sophia Webster collection. We feel she has captured a fun and riotous collection.”

LIZ RODBELL
EVP, Hudson’s Bay Co.

“The largest trend will be color, color and color in every silhouette, from pumps and wedges to flat sandals. The freshest palette we’ve seen is the bright pastels. We believe in the clean pointy-toe pumps, the flat espadrille, the novelty sneaker and prints on a lot of silhouettes that we saw at the early markets. Some of the brands we see strong growth potential for are Sam Edelman and Ivanka Trump, which continues to be strong in the fashion wear-to-work footwear category. Kate Spade provides trend-right styles with color and great attention to detail, and Michael Kors excels in many categories from dress to sandals and sneakers.”

JILL MORAN
Retail buyer for shoes & accessories, Wynn/Encore

“The use of materials such as PVC [and] Lucite has been a trend throughout the market for resort ’13, and some of my favorites were from Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik. PVC has been shown, both in very literal ways and in discreet ways, mixed with suedes and leathers to add interest to styles. Color palettes are twofold for the season — many vendors are offering both a bright palette with fuchsia, turquoise, jade green and bright purple, as well as a muted pastel palette with soft pink, mint green and dove gray. Charlotte Olympia is going to continue to be strong. I especially liked her patent sandal on a bamboo platform with a bamboo heel and painted leather orchids. René Caovilla continues to dominate our evening shoe sales with unique and novel styles, and Giuseppe Zanotti’s use of multiple materials is fantastic.”

BROOKE JAFFE
Fashion director of accessories, shoes & handbags, Bloomingdale’s

“Dress shoes will continue to be important, especially the pointy-toe, single-sole pump, which is now mandatory. It’s exciting to see an entirely new color palette emerge, including a big introduction of pastels. We’re also seeing accents of what we are calling ‘neon pastels.’ The bottom line is that color continues to be important. We’re also seeing a continued focus on Belgian-inspired loafers, flat espadrilles, boating shoes and menswear-inspired smoking slippers — the new must-haves. Another interesting idea to note is the emphasis on novelty prints, special materials and special hardware details such as studs. We really liked what we saw from Bettye Muller, Kate Spade, Jean Michel Cazabat and Fendi.”

JEFFREY KALINSKY
EVP of designer merchandising, Nordstrom

“Single-soled shoes seem to be everywhere, from soft pinks and soft blues to lots of brights, such as orange and hot pink. This trend is credited to Manolo Blahnik’s influence. The use of PVC also seems to be popping up in all different collections. Jimmy Choo always has the right colors, materials and heel heights and is always on-trend, and I also thought Yves Saint Laurent had a great man-tailored oxford and loafer.”

LINDSEY ALLEN
Buyer, American Rag CIE

“Early indicators show the continuation of florals and pops of color, especially orange for both men and women, studs and spikes, sneaker wedges and ankle boots for women. For men, we also really like all the high-top sneakers and wingtip dress shoes. Rag & Bone hits the mark every season with creative updates to classic styles. We have done really well with its footwear so far, and I only see it getting bigger. We’re also very excited about Puma’s collaborations with Alexander McQueen and Mihara Yasuhiro because they have great stories behind the shoe designs and customers will be drawn to them emotionally.”

MEGAN MOSER
VP of merchandising, Shoebuy.com

“Look for an interesting mix of muted pastel colors and softer palettes with pops of neon colors to keep styles looking fresh and fun. Glitter, in various shapes and applications, will remain an important treatment all over styles or in simple touches. For the juniors’ market, simple classic prints such as polka dots and gingham abound, which always feel fresh, flirty and feminine. Sculpted wedges and cutouts, mixed media and wraps in the upper material or a new material add drama. Tribal influences will continue to be hot with a variety of beading used as ornamentation. Some brands that highlight these trends include Nine West, Enzo Angiolini, Naturalizer, Naya, Clarks and Rockport.”

RONNIE JEFFERSON
VP & DMM for lifestyle & kids’ footwear, Finish Line

“We see the lightweight category continuing, as well as retro basketball. Also, high-tops across genders and canvas vulcanized footwear will still be on trend. In early markets, we were excited about Nike, Jordan Brand, Adidas, Under Armour, Reebok and Brooks for performance, and Creative Recreation, Lacoste, Adidas Originals, Polo and a new brand, Gorilla, on the lifestyle side. These brands continue to answer the call with the ‘what’s next’ product assortment.”

PETER GUARRACI
Director of men’s footwear & leather goods, Bergdorf Goodman

“The male customer better be ready for a lot of color because it’s coming. We’re seeing all the colors under the rainbow, from shades of blue, red, yellow and some pink to different shades of browns and tans. It’s magnificent. Jil Sander was my favorite with product that is elegant, luxurious, sophisticated and very interesting. She incorporates a lot of color, especially all shades of blue. Important silhouettes we saw from her and other designers were the tassle slip-on loafer and the plain-toe Venetian slip-on. There are also a lot of materials being used, from smooth leathers and burnished leathers to exotic treatments using python, ostrich, crocodile and alligator, again in bright colors. Gucci did its Bit Loafer in all different materials and colorations, especially in a bright python. We also really liked Lanvin for their sneakers, and they also had exotic leathers combined with smooth leathers. It looked very good in bright colors.”

CARL SCIBETTA
VP & DMM of shoes, Belk

“For kids this spring, [we’re seeing] flowers, gemstones, neon colors, cork and jute, as well as canvas. The silhouettes we see as being important are boat shoes, ballets, wedge sandals, espadrilles, flat sandals and low-profile athletic-inspired styles from Sperry Top-Sider, Jessica Simpson, Crocs and Nike.”

BRIAN TRASK
Category manager, footwear, City Sports

“Light and fast continues to evolve in athletic footwear. For spring, we like Adidas, with its minimal collection that is the first in its AdiPure line on the performance running side. Mizuno’s Evo collection has some really interesting product for the forefoot running trend, and we’ve heard a lot of buzz about Pearl Izumi getting into that same genre of ‘performance neutral.’ Merrell’s M-Connect series also looks good to us. Outside of running, training continues to be a big category, and everyone is trying to fill in between boot camp shoes, CrossFit shoes and the adventure runner.”

KRISTIN FORGASH
Children’s non-athletic buyer, Famous Footwear

“Neon is important in all silhouettes for girls. From flats to sandals, spring will be very colorful. We’re even seeing color in boys’ sandals this year, inspired by all the brights in athletics.”