With the men’s fall ’16 fashion month kicking off in London on January 8—followed by Milan, Paris and New York—one can expect a new bevy of footwear trends to surface. Will the sneaker craze prevail? Will designers turn to dressier designs? We turned to luxury retailers to ask what their predictions will be for the season.
Below, men’s retailers sound off on what to expect for fall ’16:
Emmanuel de Bayser, co-owner and buyer, The Corner Berlin:
“I see less sneakers and more dressy or creative shoes—new takes on loafers and boots. If there are sneakers, they will be less bulky and heavy.”
Bruce Pask, men’s fashion director, Bergdorf Goodman:
“We have seen in recent seasons a rapidly growing interest in the role and importance of accessories in menswear on the runways, with houses like Valentino, Givenchy, Berluti, and Gucci giving shoes and leather goods as much focus as their ready to wear. I anticipate this excitement about accessories to continue.
Athletic styles continue to perform and the offerings are expanding accordingly. We are seeing a general turn toward cleaner, more streamlined styles but we still get excited when we see innovative design applied to sneakers.
Dress shoes are still very important [in] our assortment, and are certainly a mainstay in a man’s wardrobe. Beautiful hand burnished patinas in non-traditional yet neutral colors, like grey and navy. I see this continuing, with new offerings in business appropriate tonalities of color as well as singular brogeuing details.
Formal shoes also offer a category that has seen a lot of recent interest and it’s ripe for experimentation with materials. At the beginning of this season I’ve already seen quite a bit of attention paid to fabrics and leathers that are giving shoes and sneakers great surface interest, with felted wool and pony early standouts.”
Stephanie Moor, men’s buyer, Level Shoe District:
“I hope to see brands widen their men’s collections further, adding new categories as well as styles with a unique twist to meet the growing demand of a more adventurous male clientele. Season on season men’s footwear becomes more experimental as designers play with bold colours and materials, and I have no doubt this will continue into fall ’16.
A key focus will stay on sneakers. More brands will diversify into this category and designers will look to elevate their sneakers even more. Already in the pre-collections we have seen brands take sneakers to the next level, from Maison Margiela’s metallic soles to Buscemi’s iconic 100mm high-top in full alligator.
Classic styles will remain important, and we hope to see designers offering a stronger formal and tuxedo collection for the winter season to appeal to classic man. I’m on the lookout for traditional styles with a contemporary twist.”
Eric Jennings, VP and fashion director of menswear, home & beauty, Saks Fifth Avenue:
“As more and more men get dressed by starting with their shoes, men’s shoes will continue to lead the market with innovation and creativity. Sneakers will only continue to get bigger. Trust me on this one! Designers will focus on dressier sneaker styles and less on dressier dress shoes. There will be more experimentation but less embellishments and less ‘flashiness.’ Rich Texture, robust color, handsome burnishing.”