Retail Guide: Fall Trend Forecast

“In the early markets, we saw a lot of moccasins, [as well as] clogs and pointy toe pumps with ankle-strap details. Jewels and shine are reappearing, and leopard and lace are important. Giuseppe Zanotti has a great lace platform pump. We’re not steering away from black and brown, but the real newness is in the reds, purples and blues. Miu Miu showed a terrific richness in color.”
— Tracy Margolies, VP & DMM of shoes, Saks Fifth Avenue

“There’s definitely an overarching 1970s vibe to the season. Several ready-to-wear changes will impact footwear, such as longer lengths in skirts and dresses that will make knee-high, chunky-heeled dress boots important. Diane von Furstenberg did a great take on this. There also is a continuation of the pump, and with the ladylike undercurrent we’re seeing, that chunky heel is what’s going to make the pump look new. Penny loafers are out there in a big way, as well as preppy smoking slippers, which we saw from Dolce Vita and Loeffler Randall.”
— Brooke Jaffe, fashion director of women’s accessories, Bloomingdale’s

“For fall, there is a return to a single sole and more pointed lasts in pumps, boots and booties. References to the 1970s remain, with stacked heels and wedges. We’re also seeing tubular constructions in stacked-heel boots. Balenciaga, 
Givenchy, Lanvin and Pierre Hardy all continue to offer directional fashion, while at the same time addressing key functional needs.”
— Daniella Vitale, chief merchant & EVP, Barneys New York

“The most important story is color blocking. We also are seeing the return of the pump, be it chunky heeled versions or slender stilettos. There is strong referencing to a very polished, ladylike moment inspired by the late 1950s and early 1960s. The idea of the pantsuit and skirt suit continues, and the shoe that looks so right with this is the pump. Another major idea is mixed media, bringing in matte and shine combinations.”
— Ken Downing, SVP, fashion director, Neiman Marcus

“With updated styles from Vibram FiveFingers, Nike and New Balance, as well as new shoes from Reebok and Saucony, the minimalist [athletic] movement continues to gain momentum. There’s been a natural extension of the concept into areas outside of running. Nike and Vibram are doing a great job of bringing training into the mix. Color continues to be a huge story: The bold palettes, fresh combinations and pop colors on laces make for an eye-catching footwear wall.”
— Michael Mosca, EVP of merchandising, City Sports

“We’re seeing boots in many silhouettes for kids. For boys, lugged hikers and work boots are in the spotlight, and lace-up, military-inspired, shearling and all-weather boots will be important for girls. In shoes, flats and fashion athletics are strong for girls, while updated boat shoes and other classic styles such as bucks and saddles dominate boys’ offerings. Glam is an important girls’ trend, with details such as glitter, gems, animal prints, bows and flower adornments.”
— David Neri, EVP & GMM of shoes, Belk

“Boots will be the biggest story in men’s. We’ve seen ski boots, hikers, chukkas and lace-up boots, all done with a dressier finish on the upper and a more rugged outsole, from commando to mountain-climbing soles. The other fresh look is shearling, which is [showing up] not just as a lining but also around the collar and on the outside of shoes. The vintage look in the leathers is still out there, as well as the use of grainy leathers. Burberry is very strong this season, with key styles including zipper and lace-up boots, and Jimmy Choo’s new men’s collection looks great with its updated classics.”
— Peter Guarraci, director of men’s shoes, Bergdorf Goodman

“We’re seeing a more sensible footwear cycle, with an embracing of the classics. The tall equestrian boot, the penny loafer and wedges that provide height in a comfortable way will be prevalent, as well as the pointy toe single-sole pump. Cleaner ready-to-wear trends and femininity will be important [influences]. Colors include rich blues and deep reds. Many collections are driving these trends, among them Kate Spade, Kors Michael Kors and Elie Tahari.”
— Liz Rodbell, EVP of merchandising, Lord & Taylor


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