FLORENCE, Italy — Retailers at last week’s Pitti Uomo trade show were upbeat about the strength in the high-end men’s market, and they also praised the event’s diverse offerings.
“Footwear is our best performing category. There is a lot of opportunity in the market. Fashion shoes are selling very well,” said Eric Jennings, VP and men’s fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue, adding that dressy sneakers have also performed well.
Alessandra Rossi, commercial director for Yoox Group, said men’s shoes are an “undisputable best seller” on the site. In fact, Yoox is debuting an area on its site Thecorner.com solely dedicated to men’s shoes. It will include a mix of formal and casual brands such as Grenson, Mr. Hare and Bruno Bordese.
“Pitti is always an important occasion to discover the latest trends and enrich the selection of the tailoring area on thecorner.com,” Rossi said.
Bloomingdale’s men’s fashion director Josh Peskowitz noted fashionable, office-appropriate shoes continue to be important for the retailer.
“I’m very pleased with Church’s offering,” he said, also lauding Marc McNairy’s collection. “His double-monk stripe is dynamite.”
For a look at the key trends from major brands at the show, read on.
Glossy effects took center stage in the high-end Italian label’s fall collection. They appeared both in formal looks, as shown by a cordovan derby shoe done on a Goodyear-welt construction, and in the more casual lineup, which included a new calfskin laceup embellished with a perforated motif. Brunello Cucinelli also channeled the mixed-material trend, matching flannel and leather on sporty boots, which came in brown and blue combinations.
The company launched its “Below Zero” footwear range this season. Inspired by Pirelli’s winter tires, it includes rubberized calfskin boots, leather laceups and Chelsea styles, all featuring an exclusive sole providing slip resistance in rain, snow and on ice. In addition, the label also introduced a chukka boot in rubberized leather and enriched its sneaker range with a new sporty shoe decked out with car racing-inspired, high-tech details.
For fall, the designer injected a rock ’n’ roll mood into his signature dandy style. Metallic chain decorations put an audacious twist on velvet, leather and pony-skin slippers and loafers. A gold chain also embellished a pony-skin slip-on. In addition, the collection featured sophisticated teal velvet Chelsea boots, along with eye-catching evening loafers, such as a pair embroidered with an Arabesque motif.
A 1980s disco-glam theme served as inspiration for the Italian footwear label’s fall collection. The designer, who mainly opted for tapered shapes, delivered a wide range of loafers, laceups and ankle boots offered in different materials and finishes, including patent leather and laminated leather. The lineup, which included a zippered slipper showing an allover decoration of crystals, also contained new boots featuring a Cuban heel. In addition, the brand’s sneaker offering was enriched with a high-top with fur details and a style with gold micro studs.
The company, which is opening a showroom in New York this year, unveiled a capsule collection dedicated to the late dancer and actor Fred Astaire. “In our archives, we found documents and pictures of him wearing made-to-measure Sutor Mantellassi dancing shoes,” said the company’s CEO, Francesco Pace. The 1930s-inspired capsule collection offered black-and-white classic styles updated with a contemporary twist, including derby shoes and a loafer combining polished calf and white crocodile. The line, which will be exclusively sold at Sutor Mantellassi flagships, will retail from 990 euros to 5,000 euros, or $1,346 to $6,797 at current exchange.
The luxury label reimagined the Shannon, its signature stout derby shoe into a polished calfskin version with double-monk buckle fastening. Church’s, which last year celebrated its 140th anniversary, also updated its embroidered Crown slippers that were showcased in a range of traditional British fabrics, spanning tweed to Prince of Wales check.
An outdoor vibe dominated the brand’s collection, which showcased goat-skin and suede hiking boot-inspired styles with the brand’s tread sole, along with brightly colored sporty sneakers with contrasting laces. The company also revamped its iconic driving shoes, which came with a transparent sole in the same color as the upper.
Italian shoe label Lotto Leggenda payed homage to its heritage, reworking its iconic Tokyo running shoe, which the company launched in the 1980s. A new sneaker was presented in three different versions, all featuring the Japanese Hinomaru flag on the tongue and the Tokyo ideogram on the heel.