With news of the upcoming arrival of a new British royal in April, children’s shoe designers are already offering their suggestions of prince- and princess-worthy footwear. At home in the U.K., Papouelli has a selection of classics in waiting, while across the pond, Pediped and Plae are taking a more casual approach to dressing the latest arrival.
“William, Kate and their children truly epitomize a next-gen royal family,” said Ryan Ringholz, founder and chief designer of San Francisco-based Plae. “They’re traditional in many senses, yet modern too.” Ringholz envisions the new baby reflecting their style sensibility.
“For a girl, I’d recommend a classic style, like a Mary Jane, with a contemporary twist,” referring to the brand’s Emme style, a sporty take on the silhouette. “For a boy, our Roan is the ultimate uniform shoe for kids, yet allows for a bit of cheeky after-school fun with interchangeable tabs.”
Jenevieve Froncek, director of product development for Pediped in Las Vegas, noted that following in Prince George’s and Princess Charlotte’s footsteps won’t be an easy task. “Considering Kate’s love for floral prints, I’d include include a beautiful small-scaled floral for a baby girl,” she said. “For a slight twist to the classic, I’d place the print on a simple Mary Jane and keep the dress solid with a floral trim at the waist.” The brand’s Louisa floral print style is available in crib, toddler and youth sizes.
If shodding a boy, Froncek suggests a solid shoe with a more casual twist. “Less still and structured than the typical, smart styling of Prince George, done in a luxurious nubuck,” she said. For fall, she suggests Pediped’s Jake, a soft sole style in chocolate with lacing and strap closure.
“We love the Duchess of Cambridge’s elegant style and how that follows through in her children’s outifts,” said Nicole Robinson, co-founder of Papouelli. When taking their first steps, Robinson suggests the brand’s Poppi unisex style, a soft-sole T-strap design that’s currently a favorite with British moms and available in a range of colors.
When learning to walk, there’s the Florence, a T-strap and the Dixie, a bootie, both unisex looks set on a thin rubber sole. Next, there’s the Sacha unisex T-strap style in colors that include pale blue and burgundy. “Mallory and Little Bea [for girls] are also divine in pink and silver, [sporting] soles for first walkers,” she said. “These will take [kids] from the park to the smartest parties.”
Peter Roccamo, VP of sales and design for BCYN/Synclaire Brands in Hicksville, N.Y., suggests a Badgley Mischka soft-sole style for girls. “In early spring, she’d be dressed in [its] pretty silver embroidered style with adjustable T-strap adorned with glamorous stones,” he said. “Pearls, butterflies, lace, embroidery and ruffles continue to be on-trend.”
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