Level Shoe District’s Alberto Oliveros On Top Spring ’16 Collections & Names to Watch

Alberto Oliveros, head of buying for Dubai’s Level Shoe District, gives Footwear News the lowdown on the hottest brands, biggest trends and new designer names to know for spring ’16.

Top Collections:

Francesco Russo was definitely one of this season highlights. His delicate sandals with leaf details in neutral colors were extraordinary. We are especially excited for his Level Shoe District exclusive bridal styles he created for SS ’16 — truly what dreams are made of.

Gianvito Rossi’s collection was superb. We are obsessed with his knitted peep-toe booties and boots. They are absolutely stunning, sexy and definitely an SS ’16 must have.

Tabitha Simmons collection was fresh and feminine. We love how Tabitha played with raffia and embroidery this season, adding a bohemian feel with beautiful floral details. We’re excited to be welcoming her to Dubai in a few weeks for a pop-up!

Tabitha Simmons spring 2016 shoes
Tabitha Simmons spring ’16 collection.
CREDIT: Xavier Ganet.

Edgardo Osorio’s global nomad-inspired collection for Aquazzura was stunning and playful, again seeing this bohemian vibe across a few designers. His sandals with pom-poms and chunky stone-embellished heels were standout pieces!

Pierre Hardy’s technique is extraordinary, as always. Mr. Hardy has a way of making his styles unique by combining unexpected materials. His cage sandals in vibrant pop colours will be a hit with our global client. The espadrille has been popular for many seasons; leave it to Mr. Hardy to create a hybrid between an espadrille and a sneaker, called the Basketdrille.

Azzedine Alaia’s SS16 collection proved again that Mr. Alaia’s technique and attention to detail are best-in-class. His suede wedges and platforms with laser-cut and Swarovski details were favorites. Mr. Alaia’s interpretations of sneakers were equally beautiful.

Alessandro Michele’s second collection for Gucci was sophisticated and beyond cool. Gucci’s horsebit penny loafers and block-heel sandals full of embellishment were a season highlight yet again.

Gucci Spring 2016 Milan Fashion Week
Gucci spring ’16 runway collection.
CREDIT: Kuba Dabrowski.

New Names to Watch:

This SS16, we are excited to introduce Malone Souliers to the Level Shoe District family. We loved the exquisite color combo of his sandals and gladiators — and we can’t ignore his signature mules.

Serena Uziyel’s babouches with their intricate hand-embroidery detail were extraordinary.

Giannico’s decade-inspired collection, from ’50s to the ’90s was fun, fresh and a great evolution for such a young designer. We really like Nicolo’s inspiration of swimming hats and The Beverly Hills hotel.

Trends I love:

Flats are here to stay! Flats were seen in almost every collection — we love that they are making a comeback in chic versions that are perfect for day and night. Slide sandals are the most prominent style this SS16, interpreted in different colors, materials and even with embellishment. We particularly love the babouches trend. Though an age-old Moroccan traditional shoe, this modern interpretation is fun. Serena Uziyel, Bally and Acne created awesome babouches and slide sandals. Gladiator sandals and espadrilles are still here, and Valentino, Brian Atwood and Chloé mastered some great versions unique to their own DNAs.

The platform wedge is another of SS16’s most important silhouettes — adding comfort and a ’60s-’70s vibes. Dries Van Noten’s embroidered platform wedges are a season must-have, as are Sergio Rossi and Alaïa’s renditions of the wedge platform.

Sergio Rossi Spring 2016 Milan Fashion Week
Sergio Rossi spring ’16 runway collection.
CREDIT: David Maestri.

Materials such as suede in neutral and pastel colors and woven leather and embroidery details were strongly represented this season, adding to this bohemian/nomadic vibe we love.

Chunky heels were also important this season, and again, linked back to the bohemian mood, as seen at Paul Andrew, Isabel Marant and Alexander Birman.

Alexandre Birman spring 2016 shoes
Alexandre Birman spring ’16 collection.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

Metallics were also front and forward this season. Metallic masters included Tom Ford, Lanvin and Pierre Hardy, again bringing that luxe-party mood that our clientele loves.

Trend I don’t like:


Season forecast:

“Spring offered a fresh and relaxed perspective, along with the introduction of some new materials. We feel that the bohemian look is going to be a big focus this season — it oozes effortlessness. And some designers are channeling ’70s nostalgia while remaining feminine.”

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