Women’s Designers Talk Fall Trends

Designers are tapping into bygone eras this season and combining ultra-femme detailing with man-tailored shapes to infuse women’s footwear with a classic-yet-contemporary aesthetic.

“The trends I see have two themes: ladylike and luxury. There is a return to demure elegance [and looks] that are extremely feminine but blended with masculine, tailored styles. I see black, gold, navy and emerald green being prime colors for the season. Velvet is king among the fabrics and takes front seat.”
Natalie Barbieri, designer & co-owner at Bionda Castana

“We have more booties in our assortment than ever before. I am loving them for casual to dressier looks. They’re the perfect, functional, wear-anywhere silhouette, and always in season.”
Jessie Randall, president & creative director, Loeffler Randall

“More and more, the use of materials that often are used in clothing design and manufacturing are being applied to shoes — exotic skins, fabrics like tweeds and brocades, crystals, sequins and other hardware. Key classic vintage constructions and silhouettes are bringing back retro glamour to the stores and window displays.”
Abel Muñoz, creative director & founder, Abel Muñoz Accessories

“We’ve seen a definite upswing in customers wanting more wearable shoes, something they can walk — and dance — in, but something that still looks sexy and glamorous. 1920s and ’30s styling in clothing is set to continue, especially once the much-anticipated ‘The Great Gatsby’ remake hits movie theaters later this year. We have heels with Egyptian art deco detailing, intricate filigree metal detailing and jewel colors.”
Lynsey Hand, designer & managing director, Starmark Brands Ltd.

“[Fall ’13 is about] strong lines, empowered heels, worn-looking yet fine materials, and the brush-off, oiled, burnished, dulled metal effect. It’s the end of cute, the light of clever.”
Eric Rutberg, designer at Eric Rutberg Transparent and creative director for Betsey Johnson Footwear

“We took a lot of classic shapes and reimagined them with unexpected details, from signature metal hardware to strong heel shapes and pronounced outsoles. Metallic hardware is juxtaposed with luxe mid-shine Italian leathers, tonal embroideries, an innovative high-gloss and matte-embossed ostrich print and vibrantly colored calf-hair leather. The palette includes our signature cobalt, port red, warm earth tones, jet black and army green.”
Monika Chiang, designer & owner, Monika Chiang

“For fall ’13, we’re seeing a huge trend toward lower heel heights. Whether it be kitten heels, cone heels or demi wedges, women are steering away from the higher, thinner heels. Tailored and menswear-inspired looks are [also] huge. Oxfords, brogues and loafers continue to be popular. The single-sole pointy-toe pump is back with a vengeance. And metal details are super important.”
Celine Ouaknine, designer, Titan Industries Inc.