Top Execs From Neiman Marcus, Saks and Net-a-Porter on the Brands & Trends You Need for Next Spring

Ken Downing Neiman Marcus
Neiman Marcus' Ken Downing.
Courtesy of Neiman Marcus

What new spring shoes should you save up for? Three of the industry’s leading retailers sound off on their top picks from Europe and the trends that will rule spring. 

Ken Downing, SVP and fashion director, Neiman Marcus

Top collections Prada, Dior, Chanel

Trend stories “Kitten heels look right. The transparency trend we saw early in the season carried throughout. It’s certainly a moment of  embellishment — feathers and fringe, and why not both? There is great diversity in footwear, and I also think it’s a reflective moment. So many brands have gone back into their own archives and rediscovered who they are.”

Crocs and Balenciaga collab “We had seen an embellished Croc on the runway [at Christopher Kane], so my eye had become accustomed to it. They’re fun and visual, and they will look great on Instagram and style stars. Girls will want them because they are Balenciaga and they were on the runway.”

Christian Dior Spring 2018 Christian Dior spring 2018. Kuba Dabrowski

Elizabeth von der Goltz, global buying director, Net-a-Porter

Top collections Prada, Saint Laurent, Gianvito Rossi

On the rise “We’ve carried Attico’s shoes from the start but are continuing to love what we’re seeing. They have expanded and grown the collection for spring. We loved the buckle shoes in jewel tones and the triple-tie shoe in color or metallic.”

One to watch “Jennifer Chamandi is a brand that is on our radar. The collection is feminine and beautiful with her signature eye-of-the-needle heel.”

Trend story “We loved the return of bright colors, Plexi accents and also the cool spring bootie, which we saw at Chloé and Saint Laurent. We are investing majorly in kitten heels and mules.”

Styles we’ll skip “Cowboy boots and Crocs are two trends we wouldn’t buy into for our customer.”

Chloé spring '18 Chloé spring ’18. Rex Shutterstock

Cleo Davis-Urman, contemporary fashion director, Saks Fifth Avenue

Top collections “Gianvito Rossi’s collection of ultrafeminine styles, including the perfect pointy toe
satin mule decorated with bow details, offered in a rainbow of colorways, exemplifies la dolce vita. Saint Laurent’s collection of feather-embellished sandals and boots took flight. Balenciaga’s ladylike bouclé kitten heel encourages us to dress up.”

On the rise “We are excited about the expanded shoe offering at Attico and the new energy that designers Gilda [Ambrosio] and Giorgia [Tordini] have brought to Milan. Their eye for color, attention to detail and appreciation of the past made for a glamorous collection of statement shoes that are a maximalist’s dream come true.”

Trend stories “The novelty boot: From Chloe’s Western-inspired moto to Dior’s sporty mesh knee-high to Saint Laurent’s statement yeti style, the collections offered plenty of novelty boots made for walking and will have people talking. Transparent shoes will have us seeing clearly for spring, from the thigh-grazing plastic rainboots at Chanel to the vinyl pointy-toe mules from Gianvito Rossi. The embellishment-and-shine trend will have us sparkling from day to night, whether it’s the embellished sporty sandal from Valentino or the crystal strappy style from Isabel Marant.”

Balenciaga and Crocs collab “Leave it to Demna Gvasalia to take something so pedestrian and make it a must-have. While they certainly aren’t for everyone, they remind us that fashion should be fun and will undoubtedly be worn by the street-style set come spring.”

top-10-runway-Saint-Laurent Saint Laurent spring ’18. Rex Shutterstock