Retailers React to Milan Collections

Top buyers weigh in on the spring footwear trends in Milan.

Ken Downing
SVP & Fashion Director, Neiman Marcus

Strongest Trends: “Yves Saint Laurent fever is everywhere and a major influence on every runway.”

• Coral, orange, pink and saffron
• Color blocking
• Espadrille details on wedges and platforms
• Metallic snakeskin
• Basket weaving

“Must-Carry” Styles: “Bold and beautiful heels at Prada with a horizontal-stripe sole and woven espadrille details will be a must-have of the season.”

Directional Styles: “Luxurious peasant vibes add an artisan chic feeling to the season. The flat sandal — or a sandal on a heel — often in tobacco- and luggage-colored leather with a metallic wash of copper, rose-gold or burnished gold, has a world-traveler sensibility.”

Buying Strategy: “Our focus is to continue to look for exciting product that will ignite the customer’s imagination. We are always focused on trends in response to our customer’s love of runway trends and desire to acquire the newest and latest.”

Barbara Atkin
VP of Fashion Direction, Holt Renfrew

Strongest Trends:
• Cutouts
• Strappy heels (as seen at Gucci)
• Woven textures and uppers
• Wedges and single-sole platforms
• A return to single soles with a thicker heel
• Color and color blocking
• Wooden clog-inspired soles
• Fringe details
• Tribal inspiration
• Athletic-inspired looks (“from trainers on wedges at Prada to gold kilties at Marni”)

“Must-Carry” Styles:
• Strappy cut-out open-toe leather heels from Gucci
• Woven cut-out pumps at Prada
• Jil Sander neon-soled pumps

Directional Styles: “The masculine multicolored platform wedges at Prada and a return to single-sole minimalist heels with a clean toe strap and ankle strap after the extreme high-heel platforms of the last few seasons. Mules are making a comeback at Dolce & Gabbana with cork soles.”

Buying Strategy: “What we’ve seen come off the runway and in the showrooms prior to market has dictated how we’ve been buying. We have been seeing a lot more sophisticated and refined styles from the contemporary market right through to the designer market. The shoe world has ‘grown up.’ The only shift, which is not so much a strategy, is that due to the phenomenal success of our footwear division, [shoes] remain a priority within the company.”

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