In her second year as creative director of British brand Belstaff, Delphine Ninous’s spring 2018 designs were inspired by the Paris Dakar Rally — an annual off-road endurance event — during its ’70s and early ’80s eras. The various terrains, cultures and climates that riders experience during the rally’s traditional trek, from Paris to Dakar, Senegal, informed Ninous’s mix of performance fabrics, colors and prints.
Ninous also took inspiration directly from the brand itself by incorporating a key apparel detail into footwear for the first time. “Our iconic Roadmaster jacket is famous for its belt and collar latch. I wanted to incorporate this distinctive Belstaff detail into footwear for Spring Summer ’18,” said Ninous to Footwear News.
In addition to the “belt up the ankle,” as described by Ninous, the Rosemoor sandal features mosaic printed leather in a color-blocked pattern which includes a red suede pop. Camel-colored croc details tie in the exotic theme.
Belstaff’s Rossendale block-heeled sandal for spring ’18 offers a similar take to the Rosemoor flat.
“The sandal also has this strong buckle detail, making a nice ankle bracelet. Quality of materials is always important for us — this season we have used spazolato leather and suede, but have added African colors and patchwork fabrics to reflect our ‘Paris to Dakar’ theme. The strong graphic mix of materials and colors can be seen on the flat and heeled sandals and sneakers,” explained Ninous.
Within the assortment is also a white leather sneaker featuring the same tight color palette of black, red and the camel croc print. According to Ninous, practical shoe options is key to the brand’s offering. “Belstaff footwear is easy to wear but needs to be functional for the active life and adventures of our customers,” she said.
Within that vein of functional footwear comes a sturdy leather boot. “The boot is a staple within our footwear offering but has been updated this season to an army combat style with contrasting red belt. The wide double prong buckle is the detail of the season and gives this strong attitude,” explained Ninous.
Gavin Haig, CEO Belstaff, believes Ninous’s aesthetic is modern and iconic. In a press release regarding the new collection, he stated, “Focusing on innovation, functionality, colour and new materials, Delphine delivers a strong aesthetic interpretation of the brand into product, respecting our great 93-year history but always looking forward, designing for our global modern urban adventurer.”
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