FN rounds up the buzziest shoe news and major moments from the fall ’19 season at Paris Fashion Week.
Midnight (00) in Paris Heats Up
Buzzy newbie Ada Kokosar is getting into her stride with an update on last season’s polka dots done in 3D variant pearl studs and the addition of an Italian pinstripe fabric that is dirt-proof, waterproof and crush-proof just like her party-proof PVC wraps. Kokosar also introduced a vintage ’80s leopard silk fabric sourced from an Italian mill (she bought up the entire stock). “My first collection was more Cinderella princess,” she told us, referring to spring ‘19’s pretty pastel shades, “but this is more the dark side of the fairy tale, the wicked stepmother,” she said of fall’s black tulle fabrications sprinkled with gold plumetis. “But when it’s dark, you can see the stars.”
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By Far Launches a Shoe Dedicated to Princess Diana
Launched via Instagram in 2016 as a shoe label, By Far expanded into bags last year and counts Gigi and Bella Hadid among its biggest fans. For fall, the Bulgaria-based label and one of FN’s Emerging Designers of 2018, has added stretch ankle boots with contrast toecaps and elongated toes to its burgeoning repertoire — in butter-soft leather and silk plissé. Growing up in the former Eastern Bloc, founders and twin sisters Valentina Bezuhanova and Sabina Gyosheyathe were obsessed with Princess Diana, and this season paid homage to her in a slingback with conical heel drawn from a mélange of the late princess’ favorite styles.
Rokh’s Rok Hwang put his own stamp on these mules
Skate shoes come in all shapes and sizes and we loved Rok Hwang’s whimsical Perspex mules with stamped interior soles to match the skateboards toted by some of the models. The duffle coat is already a signature for the Celine alum who only launched his label in 2016 and fall’s tailored offerings in tweed and navy wool make for the most sophisticated of skatewear. No surprise Hwang scooped the Special Prize category in 2018’s LVMH Prize.
Bettina Vermillon Ups Her High-Tech Heels
Bettina Vermillon designer Lorraine Archambeaud’s techie interchangeable heels are on display in a special selling installation at LVMH-owned department store Le Bon Marché’s “Le Geek Mais Chic” exhibition, where customers can choose their favored silhouette, color and height, and have them applied right before their eyes. The former furniture designer uses Formula 1 technology to create her aluminum heels, and her fall ’19 collection Second Skin features velour ankle boots with a “second skin” leather overlay applied to the upper. Come fall, she’ll also debut a service where customers can dial up three shoes on approval in half-size increments to ensure they get the perfect fit. “They will arrive in half an hour,” she said, “just like Uber Eats.”
Nike Finds a New PFW Partner in Koché
The athletic megabrand continued to find new ways to infiltrate Paris Fashion Week by linking up with buzzy Parisian brand Koché. Nike provided a few sneakers, of course, but the most interesting looks married Koché’s own vampy heels and boots, this time done in mostly metallic reds and with plenty of its now-signature buckles, with soccer jersey-inspired dresses and separates that continued the conversation on how athleticwear can speak to femininity on and off the field.
These New Olgana Paris Pumps Would Be the Perfect Push-Present for Meghan Markle
From Rihanna and the Hadids to the Kardashian clan, Cameron Diaz, Elisabeth Moss and Celine Dion, red carpet favorite Olgana Paris is beloved by Hollywood and music royalty alike. This season, however, designer Olga Djanguirov is setting her sites just a little higher. New for fall is a regal crown motif fashioned in diamante and pearls. “I’ve been obsessed with crowns my whole life,” she admitted. “But while I used to think the motif was a little old fashioned, now with the new pregnant princess (she was, of course, referring to Meghan Markle), it’s become much more interesting so I decided to do a new crown for a new princess.” Elsewhere, she’s further upped her luxury game with opulent mink insoles on sandals and slides and mules with sequined applique created by Chanel-owned atelier Lésage.
Hermès Goes Back to the ’90s
Hermès footwear designer Pierre Hardy debuted the first sneaker for the brand in 1998, a simple, slim ‘70s running silhouette that he brought back for fall ‘19. He didn’t change much, keeping the same tan upper and white miniature contrast stitching with a subtle raised leather H. Overall, sneakers were the strongest offerings and incorporated other clever details like horseshoe soles and a wing motif that also referenced a past design — that or a belt Hardy created.
Dries Van Noten Goes for Broke on Boots
There are three things that makes Dries Van Noten a clear and reliable critics’ choice: unique prints, lots of color, and the art of the statement boot. The Belgian designer brought all three tenets to his fall ’19 show — and sometimes all in one shoe. Knee boots came in purple and yellow satin and pistachio-green leather, while patent platforms featured rubberized soles. But the top boot was the most Dries of them all: a purple digital floral print on scrunched satin with stacked heels, a mega-shoe that was paired with an equally bold yellow-and-black floral coat.
Y/Project’s Sexy New Stance
At Y/Project, Glenn Martens reimagined his signature ruched thigh-high boots in a softer more undulating construction, but also ramped up the red carpet ante with fetish-style lace up booties that had the look of corsets for the feet. Eroticism was high on the agenda, too, when it came to the collection’s ceramic jewelry by Stephanie d’Heygere, which featured all manner of Karma Sutra positions, because, as Martens told FN backstage, “it’s an inspiration to us all.”
Rick Owens Creates His Own ‘American Horror Story’
Sky-high as they were, the platform boots were the least intimidating part of the Rick Owens fall ’19 show, which featured prosthetic makeup straight out of a Ryan Murphy show. Sharp-shouldered, fur-sleeve coats and draped dresses (many in uncharacteristic pinks and reds) paired with the platforms, which had a grate-like detailing on front.
Pierre Hardy Makes a Case for Platform Boots
The designer subscribed to one of the new season’s biggest trends, the platform, delivering some dynamic ankle boots to which he applied his signature abstract graphics in the manner of the artist Franck Stella. “It’s a real ’70s Biba moment; it’s chunky and heavy and big so in comparison the legs appear thinner and longer,” he said of the silhouette. “The stripes give it a Trompé l’œil effect ,” he added, “so you look as if you are wearing a sandal with socks.” The style came in both suede and velvet iterations with the latter material also bringing an opulent update to his popular Vibe sneaker.
Fabrizio Viti Ups His Red Carpet Game
The Louis Vuitton shoe designer has his sites on the red carpet market. And for fall he’s made quite an entrance. “Stylists are coming to us more and more asking for platforms to team with long evening gowns,” he told FN during his fall presentation at Paris’ Crillon hotel. Bi-colored versions in luxe satin sported Viti’s signature bow to the rear — great for making an entrance, better still a flamboyant exit.
These Go-Go Boots Are a Real Go-to at Courreges
Courreges artistic director Yolanda Zobel went retro super-future for fall with a show in Paris’ space age l’espace Niemeyer. Former Marni shoe designer Achilles Gabriel, who has launched his own unisex shoe label Ion, for fall has also come on board as a consultant and reimagined the classic Courreges ’60s go-go boot as soaring thigh-high flats with buckles running all the way up the sides.
Julia Toledano’s Footwear Debut Nodaleto Will Give You Wings
Julia Toledano, daughter of LVMH chairman and CEO Sidney Toledano, has fashion in her blood, and now she’s launched her own shoe label with partner Olivier Leone. Named Nodaleto (an anagram of her famous surname), her debut collection includes ankle boots and Mary Janes with overblown geometric heels and western boots featuring jeweled spurs to the rear. “I’m obsessed with stones and their meaning,” she told FN, “especially amber which gives power and energy to the wearer.”
Lutz Huelle Wrote the Playbook on Airport Couture
“I’ve never travelled so much in my life as over the last few months,” said the ultra busy designer Lutz Huelle whose other job is creative director of Delpozo. “So I love it when something is super chic but also practical. “Why would you wear a frumpy sweater and jogging pants?” Why indeed when you can snuggle up in the Rolls Royce of hooded parkas? The footwear situation was similarly practical, albeit for a different reason. “It’s about ease, you don’t have to think about what goes with what,” he said of his color block shoe looks. And besides, “matching the color of your shoes to that of the pants really elongates the silhouette.”
Vivienne Westwood Swapped Supersize Platforms for Grandma Shoes
In a season when the platform is peaking, one of the biggest champions of the footwear style scaled way back on them. Of course, Andreas Kronthaler, the designer for (Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood) still included a few high risers, but the majority of the footwear focused on felted wood comfort slides and sneakers (though none from the brand’s upcoming Asics partnership) and patent leather grandma shoes with square toes, in-between heel heights and colors like pea-soup-green that seemed intentionally revolting.
Stella Luna’s sportif rodeo fusion
Former creative director Capucine Safyurtlu who came on board in 2016 for Stella Luna’s relaunch has left the company so going forward, collections are being designed by CEO Stephen Chi’s in-house team. However, while Safyurtlu’s supersize stella buckle remains on models like the anglo Chinese label’s signature flatform slides, inspired new silhouettes include these sneaker hybrid Western boots.
Hermes Ready-to-Wear Hops on the All-Leather Bandwagon
Like other luxury houses this season (Celine and Salvatore Ferragamo), Hermès is playing to its strengths, utilizing its craftsmanship savoir-faire to go all-in on head-to-toe leather for fall ’19. There were more than enough knee boots to go around, but a series of super-short leather and suede shorts also revealed elegant velvet pumps and a burgeoning legwear trend: a return to semi-sheer black hosiery.
These Paris Texas Western Boots Are Made for Walking
Launched barely a year ago, sisters Annamaria and Margherita Brivio have taken the fashion world by storm with their chunky heeled bottines. For fall, they have focused on the season’s runaway Western boot trend with permutations ranging from embossed croc to animal print calf leathers. An Instagram sensation they quickly found favor with a slew of influencers not least Eva Chen who we caught up with at the label’s Paris presentation. “I first learned about them through Instagram through Aimee Song,” she told us. “It’s one of those brands where any time I wear it I get a million direct messages from my followers.” She herself owns a pair of the boots in brown leather. “I can wear them for a nine hour day,” she enthused, “because even though the heel is quite high, the point of the toe-box is very gentle.”
You Have to See This New Shoe Debut From Wandler
Elza Wandler only launched her bags a year ago but she’s not one to let the grass grow under her feet. Get set for her footwear debut next month. “Just like the bags, my forms are quite directional and straightforward but sexy at the same time,” she told us. “I love heels but they have to be comfortable.” These zebra print bottines had us at hello and with price points ranging from $425-$650 they’re wallet friendly to boot.
Les Petits Joueurs Has Launched an Exclusive Capsule With Luisa via Roma
On Sunday night during Paris Fashion Week, the label’s Maria Sole Cecchi threw a star-studded dinner at the city’s ultra chic Lou Lou’s restaurant to celebrate her capsule collaboration with Luisa via Roma. The exclusive line available as of now, features pastel renderings of the label’s signature diamante wrap sandals with matching fringed pouches and barrette hair clips.
Magda Butrym’s New Boots Come With Detachable Jewels
Polish designer Magda Butrym has been expanding her ready-to-wear label’s footwear offering for the last few seasons but for fall ’19 she’s pulled out all stops. Shoes and boots come with detachable jewels which the wearer can choose to clip to the front or the rear depending on whether they favor a grand entrance or a dramatic exit. Alternatively just match your velvet print pants with these showstopper statement cuissards.
Alevi Gets Into the Red Carpet Shoe Game
Forget winter blacks, Alevi designers Valentina Micchetti and Perla Alessandri are all about the ocean and those L.A. rays with turquoise and sunshine yellow updates of their hero Stella sandal and Eli perspex / velvet mule. They’ve also introduced leather bottines for fall with trompe l’oeil suede overlays secured with a fastening fashioned from the label’s signature pearl. They’ve added to their burgeoning red carpet roster too with Kendall Jenner opting to wear a pair of their crystalline Alice sandals to attend the Vanity Fair Oscar party last month. Hmm maybe it’s time to rename the shoe Kendall instead. The duo are a big hit with buyers as well, not least Boutique 1’s Deena Khourshid. “I love Alevi because they offer something different in the market. It’s very high end but with a twist, it has it’s own signature. We see a lot of repetitive styles within a lot of brands but Alevi has its own character,” she said.
This Samuele Failli Zip Boot Is an Ode to ’80s and ’90s Couture
Before launching his own breakout label, Samuele Failli was head shoe designer for Azzedine Alaïa and his fall collection riffs off the sharp undulating proportions of ’80s and ’90s couture. Hero boot — an homage to the late designer’s ionic zip dress, famously captured by the photographer Arthur Elgort on Naomi Campbell — features an asymmetric zip running all the way round the silhouette. Turn it down at the cuff and expose its scarlet interior to graphic effect. Other hits include plissé boots in opulent cashmere suede and a semi-sheer zebra effect ankle bootie with leather hand-embroidered onto mesh to make the stripes.
Sacai Channeled Jackson Pollack for Matching Boots and Coats
There were no Nikes on the runway this season at Sacai, but no matter. The spring ’19 versions were doing a roaring trade at the label’s Paris pop-up boutique in Rue Richelieu. Missed out? Worry not. They’re also launching at Browns Fashion this Thursday March 7. Fall’s creative collaboration was a rather more cerebral affair. Paint splatter prints featuring on trench coats, bags and boots alike were a partnership with the Jackson Pollock Studio.
Alexandre Birman Does an Exotic Redux
Exotics are one of Alexandre Birman’s specialties, so it was no question that in a season full of snakeskin and animalia, the designer went full speed ahead. But don’t call it a comeback: Birman said that his use of exotic skins never went away — it’s just more noticeable in a boot. “We always had many (exotic skins). What we are doing much more of this season is new constructions,” said Birman at his presentation inside the Ritz Paris. “More boots, more closed-toes; we have loafers and sneakers. When you do those closed-toed shoes with exotics it’s more noticeable.”
Among the boots, a patchwork, over-the-knee style combined leopard and zebra prints in a few different tones of camel, beige and black that made for one of the most high-impact neutral boots of the season. “I think that it’s a way to show your femininity in a very personal way” said Birman. “Animalia matches everything. It’s an evening look, a day look, there are many color ways you can work with. The designer also did a neutral python-printed boot with a high heel, slim cut and slightly Western-style collared cuff that was an elegant take on the season’s top trends.
PS821’s Sneakers Have a Social Conscience
Spotted on Alexandre Birman at his Paris presentation were a pair of premium leather sneakers from the recently launched shoe label PS821. Created by former Stuart Weitzman CEO Wayne Kulkin — now Birman’s head of international operations for parent company Arezzo & Co. — 8.21 percent from each pair sold goes to one of a changing roster of charities concerned with environmental issues and social change.
Faith on the runway
For his first full collection, Faith Connexion’s new creative director Nikola Vasari fused the Far East with America’s West Coast mixing Asian inspired streetwear with the glam rock and grunge. And if the show shoes looked familiar, it’s because they were a loan from the Italian designer’s friend and fellow countryman Gianvito Rossi.
Rupert Sanderson’s Black Is Anything But Basic
There are endless options of boots for fall ‘19, in a variety of animalia prints, metallics and embellishments. But that doesn’t make Rupert Sanderson’s new black over-the-knee boot any less luxurious or lustworthy. The designer worked on perfecting the boot staple for fall ‘19 by using an elegantly shaped upper and a luxe stretch leather whose texture must be felt to be believed.
Sanderson also added a knee boot in burgundy leather that has already racked up plenty of orders and continued to riff on his pebble motif, wrapping them in leather to match the gold metallic and calf-hair printed leopard on a few pairs of kitten-heeled slingbacks.
Tabitha Simmons’ inspired new take on black tie
When it comes to footwear, Tabitha Simmons wrote the playbook on the XY mix. This season’s star attraction was her new Ferrin boot. The Victoriana inspired mid-heel lace-up is finished with a flourish of vintage grosgrain just like a tuxedo – the designer sourced the ribbon from an old school haberdashery in Paris so when it’s gone it’s gone. Elsewhere were brogue inspired laser-cut styles with pretty scalloped edges while signature Simmons’ silhouettes such as the Levi boot and Hermione flat were reimagined in menswear fabrics like herringbone and jacquard. The latter came in a floral weave which Simmons named ‘Climbing Violet’ after her one-year-old daughter. She also updated Duchess of Sussex favorite, the Millie slingback, in sizzling python and a more demure, and royal-approp, shade of blush.
Yves Salomon ups its shoe game
Yves Salomon which started life in 1920 as a furrier, has reprised its successful Moon Boot collaboration with new iterations in camouflage and leopard prints alongside its own label shoes. “It’s only the second season for our footwear but they already represent five percent of our business,” general manager Thomas Salomon told FN. “Last year I felt we had to address the issue of fur,” he continued so to this end he’s also teamed up with Saga Furs on a capsule collection of Moon Boots and outerwear.
Virgil Abloh Adds Water to His Endless Collab List
Virgil Abloh may be down a Nike collab this season (there were none of the sports giant’s kicks on his fall 19′ runway), but he did add another partnership to his burgeoning roster. In December, he was named ‘Creative Adviser for Sustainable Innovation Design’ at Evian and kicked off Paris Fashion Week on February 25th with a party to unveil the new reusable water bottle he’s designed for the brand. It comes in shatterproof glass with a leak-proof natural bamboo cap and silicone sleeve featuring the tag-line “Rainbow Inside”. Guests were suitably hydrated.
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