What will rule the luxury selling floor come fall?
Top buyers from all corners of the globe are betting big on boots, with cuissardes and mid-calf versions sparking fresh interest in Milan and Paris. Retro pumps and kitten heels were also key for retailers shopping the collections.
Among footwear designers, Pierre Hardy was cited as having a standout collection, and rising stars from Edgorio Osorio to Paul Andrew to Francesco Russo continue to make a big impression.
Still, though there was a noticeable lack of emerging talent this season as many of the major luxury houses topped retailers’ lists.
For all the buzz from Europe, read on.
EVP and GMM, Nordstrom Shoe Division
Big Hits: Gucci, Valentino, Givenchy and Chanel.
Key Trends: “Velvet, brocade, embellishments, stretch-leather chunky-heel boots (mid-calf and over-the-knee), Victorian-inspired lace-up boots, menswear, lug-sole boots, Mary Janes, colors — including dusty rose (the new nude) and red/burgundy — and the continuation of fur and shearling.”
Names to Watch: J.W. Anderson
Overall outlook: “The fall runway collections have offered a combination of emotional and over-the-top shoes as well as a continuation of core styles realized in novelty materials. New York and Milan were solid, and Paris was quite exciting.”
founder, Jeffrey boutiques
Top brands: Dior. “I am completely gaga for the runway boots. I loved that they referenced the couture show. I also liked what I saw at Pierre Hardy. I loved the runway boot at Balenciaga.”
buying and creative director, Kurt Geiger
Big Hits: Givenchy, Valentino and Saint Laurent on the runway, Aquazzura and Gianvito Rossi off the runway.
Key Trends: “Boots, boots, boots. There is new vigor here after seasons of sneakers. There was so much variety and choice: over-the-knee, high leg, mid-calf and ankle boots. Top colors included black, brown, tan, camel and Bordeaux in materials like leather, velvet, patent snake and croco.”
Bergdorf’s SVP and GMM of beauty, contemporary 5F, footwear and handbags
Key Trends: “Chunky heels on all heel heights, over-the-knee boots, velvet and continuation of sport in all aspects. High-top skaters and low-tops continue, colder weather in a fashion sensibility is a real statement, and I’m loving the mid-calf bootie.”
head buyer, Level Shoe District
Big Hits: “Pierre Hardy’s ‘Paintbrush Strokes’ styles were amazing – all the black and white was simply perfect. His use of glitter on his new Mary Jane cubic heel is brilliant. Paul Andrew’s NYC-inspired collection was superb. Gianvito Rossi’s reinterpretation of the round toe really caught my eye. I’m obsessed with his version of the Mary Jane. Dries Van Noten’s flower-embroidered jacquard booties are top of the list this season. They’re extremely feminine and cool.”
Key Trends: “Velvet is definitely the most prominent fabric used this season. [On everything] from single-sole pumps to boots to sandals, velvet creates a plush and luxurious feeling. Round toes are this season’s must-wear shape. The classic ankle bootie was seen in many collections this season, but what sets it apart from its predecessors is all the fun details. The platform trend is the quintessential triple threat: comfort, height and style. Glitter galore — this embellishment was everywhere.
Names to Watch: Giannico’s Nicolò Beretta is a total prodigy [at 19]. I love his Scarlett lips pump and flats. He is definitely one to watch. The second footwear collection from Christopher Kane was truly powerful. His metallic slides are perfect for the fashion-forward customer at Level Shoe District. At Oscar Tiye, Amina Muaddi’s Minnie Mouse flats are adorable and animated. Vionnet’s mink flats are a season must- have.
Laure Heriard Dubreuil, co-founder, The Webster Miami
Big Hits: “Dior’s gorgeous shiny ‘sock’ boots with plexi heels and psychedelic colors, inspired by the couture show; the Ace boots at Pierre Hardy, a sensual style on a sculptural ‘monolith’ heel; Louis Vuitton’s pointy kitten heels and ladylike bootsand pumps with a rock’n’ roll twist.”
Names to Watch: “Francesco Russo — I just love what he does. His shoes are beautiful, chic, timeless and comfortable. At Nina Ricci, I want all the Parisian looks, from the low-heel pumps to the thigh-high boots under Guillaume Henry’s creative direction.”
Overall Outlook: “It’s all about tight boots [that appear to be] leather socks with chunky heels, especially ankle and thigh-high versions. Pumps are happening as well, with different heel heights, especially kitten heels.”
Erin Cerrato, DVP of accessories, Holt Renfrew
Big Hits: “Valentino. Mid-calf boots have emerged in a big way because of the new wide, cropped pant lengths this season from almost all designers. Dior’s colored lucite heels on boots [were major hits]. Celine’s new sneakers dominated the runway and will be among the most coveted this season, along with the reintroduction of the platform.”
Key Trends: “Fur and fur trim were seen in almost every collection, as well as felt footwear and architectural heels made of lucite and metal. Boots will again be a strong category, with new mid-calf heights to over-the-knee and thigh-high.”
Names to Watch: “Aquazzura has been in the market for just a few years and continues to be a standout brand. Edgardo Osorio has expanded his offering with the addition of new constructions and several boot silhouettes, including feather-covered tall boots, dress sandals with mink trims and new interpretations of his best-selling mid-heel pumps.”
Overall Outlook: “We continue to … take an elevated position with our footwear business. We anticipate continued growth in fashion sneakers.”
Suzanne Timmins, SVP and fashion director, Hudson’s Bay
Big Hits: The ever-so-sensible, lower-heeled retro pump — seen at Nina Ricci, Stella McCartney and Chanel — looks so chic, and it’s a welcome feminine alternative to the clunky flat. Tabitha Simmons has a new block-heel pump that is perfect.”
Key Trends: After years of ankle boots dominating the market, the tall boot will be a must-have in every woman’s wardrobe for fall. Lanvin’s patchwork high boot is definitely on my shopping list. For a little sex appeal, multi-strap and lace-up bondage-like details will continue to be a huge trend. Saint Laurent’s killer strappy boots and Giambattista Valli’s knee-high laceups are to die for.”
Overall Outlook: “Fall ’15 promises to be an excellent season for footwear. There were several dominant trends on the runway — and that translates into several new reasons to buy.”