In the battle of the Fashion Weeks, one thing is clear: Milan is the most important stop on the calendar for shoe designers and buyers alike this season.
Almost two dozen footwear-centric labels are on the official schedule at Milan Fashion Week, which kicks off today. In addition, many emerging designers are holding previews in showrooms and at trade shows across the city. It’s a notable uptick from recent seasons, when some of the shoe buzz had shifted to Paris.
Florence, Italy-based Aquazzura, New York mainstay Stuart Weitzman and Spanish brand Pedro Garcia are among the big names that will join an already footwear-heavy lineup in Milan. (Global powerhouses like Jimmy Choo and Italian stalwarts such as Gianvito Rossi have always hosted their presentations in the city.)
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“Italy, and mainly Milan, is the capital of the world for luxury footwear. With a majority of the factories [located in the country] and a legacy for craftsmanship and know-how which spans across generations, it only makes sense that more brands are presenting in the place where their shoes are made,” said Alberto Oliveros, general merchandising manager for Level Shoes in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. “Couture belongs to Paris, but luxury footwear will always belong to Milan.”
Pedro Garcia said that while the label has always had a presence in Milan to show buyers its collections, the timing was right to make a bigger splash with a press presentation.
“The Italian customer connects very well with our brand, and Italy has historically been one of the strongest markets in Europe for us, so it just felt right,” said Garcia, the designer behind his eponymous brand.
Outside of the shoe and accessory presentations, footwear will have a starring role on the catwalk, with Gucci back in Milan this season after the label decamped to Paris for spring ’19. Prada and Versace will also undoubtedly stand out with their trendsetting shoes. And the Fendi show will be particularly significant and emotional following the death of longtime creative director Karl Lagerfeld yesterday.
Off the show circuit, several shoe brands are also hosting parties during the next few days.
Tonight, Fila celebrates its wildly successful Disruptor dad shoe, FN’s 2018 Shoe of the Year. Tomorrow, Attico, the buzzy Italian label that won the FNAA Launch of Year honor in 2017, is hosting a fete.
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