Shoe Industry Leaders Share Their Goals & Outlook for 2019

New year, new trends.

That’s the consensus among some of the footwear industry’s most accomplished designers and executives, who spoke with FN at the 2018 Footwear News Achievement Awards in New York. From balancing product supply and demand to putting more stock into company social responsibility, these fashion leaders are making plans now to get ahead in 2019.

Here, Tabitha Simmons, Pierre Hardy and more share their goals and outlook for the next year.

Uri Minkoff, CEO and co-founder of Rebecca Minkoff

“In the past, retail and fashion were about who had the best product. Now with the internet, millennials and Gen Z, we have to have a deeper meaning. We have to connect with people. Brands have a social responsibility, and we are the new tastemakers. We have to be inclusive. Pick an idea, believe in something and take a stand.”

Tabitha Simmons, shoe designer

“I think nowadays, it’s kind of been amazing that there are so many different trends going on and different things in terms of being your best self. I think it’s really heading into those directions.”

Jon Epstein, president of Fila North America

“[My] New Year’s resolution is to just keep it going and not oversupply the market so we can keep [the Fila Disruptor 2] in high demand.”

Chloe Gosselin, shoe designer

“I try not to follow all the trends so much and [instead] really try to keep my brand identity, but we’ve seen a lot of fabrics like satin and padded velvets — not to just do leather anymore, but also include those fabrics … We’re working a lot with laceups and play[ing] with that at the ankle. We also just did a bamboo buckle — having those elements and details that are very unique. Those little details make a difference.”

Pierre Hardy, shoe designer

“Fashion is asking us to do more and more — more collections, more styles, more colors. But sometimes to achieve a good collection, it’s about reducing or condensing and making less. But it’s difficult.”

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