Net-a-Porter Fashion Director Lisa Aiken on Her Top Footwear Trends for Fall 2018

Net-a-Porter is adopting a wider outlook for fall with a renewed focus on emerging designers, contemporary price points and new categories, such as High Summer.

In the footwear department, the retailer is ready to stand behind contemporary designers in a big way. It’s working with the likes of Rejina Pyo, By Far and Trademark on a series of exclusive capsules launching this month and bringing on new names, such as the Parisian label Souliers Martinez, which stands out for its beautifully crafted woven styles.

“These designers have completely reinvented the contemporary category. They are offering a great product at great price points, attracting a new customer for us. But the negative connotations of contemporary brands associated with diluted product are gone,” said Lisa Aiken, Net’s fashion director, pointing to croc-stamped offerings by Trademark and novelty heels by Rejina Pyo as hero styles.

Rejina Pyo ready to wear fall 2018, london fashion week
Rejina Pyo fall ’18.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

Other footwear trends that dominated included neutral-colored shoes (the company has doubled its offer of neutral options for fall) to match the bright colored ready-to-wear that graced the runways of Prada, Balenciaga and Roksanda, among others, as well as glossy patent-leather styles, which Aiken described as the “go-to texture for fall.”

Fall ’18 will also see the return of the classic animal print pump, which is likely to overtake the much-loved white pump in popularity. To highlight the trend, Net joined forces with the leader in the category, Gianvito Rossi. Rossi, whose classic leopard-print style has been steadily selling on the site for over 11 years, has created 11 new and exclusive styles for the retailer.

Unsurprisingly, there will also be boots galore for fall, which will come in the form of cowboy boots — a trend spearheaded by Raf Simmons at Calvin Klein and Isabel Marant — slouch styles and hiking boots, which are seen as “an evolution of the hiking boot” in keeping with the mood of comfort that dominated the season.

Aiken also highlighted that the majority of boots on Net’s fall offer are under 75 millimeters, a testament to the impact of the kitten heel.

Chunky new-age sneakers will also continue to hold court. According to Net, the Balenciaga Triple S was the “biggest driver for the brand,” and its influence will continue to be seen. To celebrate the trend, the retailer teamed with Stella McCartney to translate one of its men’s sneaker styles for women and launch it exclusively.

isabel marant fall 2018
Isabel Marant fall ’18.

Elsewhere, the appetite for over-the-top adornment and dressing up is still going strong. While everyone from big names such as Tom Ford and Gucci to younger ones including Attico, Magda Butrym and Alessandra Rich are pioneering the trend when it comes to ready-to-wear, “there was a gap in the market for accessories with attitude for eveningwear.”

Butrym and Rich set out to fill the gap with newly launched standout footwear collections. Butrym’s chic mules, draped with pearls and crystals, have already launched on-site, while Rich’s first foray into footwear will be prelaunched exclusively on Net this September.

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