Do runway shows move the needle for men? High-end designers discuss if — and how — experimental men’s trends affect the dress-shoe market.
CEO, Harry’s of London
“Experimental catwalk trends have a varying degree of influence on the men’s dress-shoe market. It very much depends on the brand’s identity. Brands within the same market will look to the catwalk on a season-to-season basis, sometimes adopting elements and other times leaving them [out] completely. We are a design-led contemporary brand, but we never forget that we are designing footwear for our customers and their lives.”
“We are in a great moment [for men’s fashion]. There are a lot of changes and signs that the market is moving forward. Shows, calendars, appointments and presentations are different now — they open to a new scenario in which all the players, from couture to accessories, can find a more contemporary balance. This is a big opportunity for brands that want to grow and find their own way.”
Founder & designer, Brunello Cucinelli
“I believe that luxury comes out of experimental runway trends, as it takes time to produce collections for both apparel and shoes. The trends influence the dress-shoe market short term by allowing customers to get out of their comfort zone and take risks. They are a crucial part of the cycle of fashion, but they come and go. There is longevity in classic styles and a timelessness that an experimental trend cannot deliver.”
Founder & designer, Paul Andrew
“With men’s shoes, adventurous styles are very slow to move from the runway to real life. The majority of men are more conservative in their dress, and there isn’t a sense of urgency when it comes to trends. They’re willing to wait a few seasons, or never adopt the trend at all. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. A dress shoe featuring a heavy lug sole, for example, is one of the most popular styles in my men’s collection.”
Founder & designer, George Esquivel
“As designers, we are influenced by many things — some being trends, or even effects on materials that are shown on the runways. If [you can call] sportswear and tech fabrics a trend, I have seen dress-shoe companies try to incorporate some sort of the technical feel or treatment into their shoes.”
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