Fashion Industry Buyers Sound Off on Fall ’18 Must-Haves

Kate Bellman, Nordstrom Inc.
Associate fashion director
“The singular must-have of the season is the statement boot — seen in bold, impactful color or high-voltage patent shine and metallics. There is such a great variety of silhouettes [including] extreme slouch, a sporty sock and fierce stiletto lace-ups. Western continues to emerge and can be done both refined and sophisticated or with a nod to Americana kitsch. Interesting heel shapes push the dress movement forward. Kitten heels in particular signal toward the retro revival that will be so important this season. Creative materials such as Lucite and metals are also a new direction in heel interest. Overall, footwear has become fun again.”

Durand Guion, Macy’s Inc.
Men’s fashion director

“For men’s, we are excited about the next iteration of the chukka boot as unexpected color, pattern and mixed-media details inject new life into a menswear classic. Boots are always a key trend component during the fall/winter season, and we are bullish on renewed interest in hiking-inspired boots as seen on the European runways. In addition, we will be on the lookout for Western-inspired boots, and although this trend is in its infancy, it is something the customer does not have in his closet. There is also a return to textured dress shoes.”

Stephanie Muehlhausen, Macy’s Inc. 
Women’s accessories fashion director
“For women’s, metallics are a key trend for fall ’18 — looking newest in an autumnal palette, i.e., olive, wine and bronze. They span across many silhouettes, from booties to sneakers to kitten heels. We are excited about the statement sneaker, with updates in platform/flatform silhouettes and with fur and embellished details. My personal favorite is the sock sneaker.”

Lisa Aiken, Net-a-Porter
Retail fashion director

“I’m expecting to see a lot of statement boots. White will continue from fall/winter ’17, and I anticipate animal prints and metallics will become more prominent [this season]. In terms of silhouettes, I foresee a shift toward wider shapes with a bit of slouch, which we saw in the Niki boot by Saint Laurent last season. We’re also likely to see the ‘grown-up’ shoe continue to dominate with styles such as the stiletto boot and kitten heel. In a smaller way, sculptural heels are coming through from the likes of Jacquemus, Rejina Pyo and Neous.”

Roopal Patel, Saks Fifth Avenue
SVP fashion director
“Combat boots are trending on the menswear fall ’18 runways. We saw a variety of styles, from lace-up to cold-weather to the hiker-sneaker hybrid. We saw a sleek take on two-tone boots that incorporated a unique blend of menswear fabrication, such as suede and leather. Sneakers also continue to trend this season. The new direction is the chunky platform sneaker. We saw it at Versace, Fendi and Valentino. For women, we’re excited about the return of the Chelsea boot. We saw Chelsea boots with a flat or stacked heel in cracked leather or soft suede with embellishments. Patent is certainly trending. We started to see the fabrication emerge in the pre-fall 2018 collections. And now we see it trickling into all fall ’18 silhouettes, such as mules, sandals and boots.”

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