Veteran shoe designer Walter Steiger saw his shoes walk down the runway at both Maison Rabih Kayrouz and Akris at Paris Fashion Week on Sunday.
Rabih Kayrouz used Steiger’s lace-up flats in its show, while Akris incorporated the designer’s chunky loafers in various colors.
“You see a shoe on the runway, and think, ‘Ah, that’s fantastic,’” the designer said. “This is why they made runways.”
Steiger said he never designs specifically for the catwalk, although he’s always thought of shoes as accessories to dresses. “This is why I make simple designs. Shoes are just a piece of the outfit,” he said.
The designer also is excited about his new sneakers for spring. “When you walk around in the streets, you see more women wearing sneakers. I see women wearing them at fashion shows all the time now. A few years ago, there were only high heels. So you have to make things at the right moment in fashion. I believe we are back to a moment when people are a bit more casual.”
Steiger said this is also a moment for the brand to focus on the U.S. market again as it expands in other markets such as Russia and Japan, where it recently opened a new store. “We have contact all over the world, but I have to come to America in the right way. I say me, but it’s really my son. I’m not interested in business. I never had an organization or an agent. I just think about design.”
Asked how many years he had been on the footwear scene now, Steiger quipped, “I really don’t know.” But one thing’s for sure. He plans to be here for many more years.