Y/Project’s Glenn Martens debuted men’s footwear for fall ’19 with a lineup that included dramatic suede waders, square-toed ankle boots and dress shoes. Done in fabrications from baby blue suede to croc-embossed leather, they came with exaggerated block heels.
The show took place Wednesday night at Pitti Uomo in the Italian city of Florence. Martens’ Y/Project label is the guest designer at the trade show this season. The Belgian designer presented his collection amid the cloisters of the famous Santa Maria Novella cathedral.
Both footwear and ready-to-wear alike shifted away from sportswear — a move that was felt at London Fashion Week Men’s.
“There’s been so much focus on sportswear,” Martens told FN, “which is why we didn’t want to do sportswear shoes and went for a more classic, refined look, just like the tailoring.” Hence, the tuxedo-inspired dress shoes and ankle boots that came in graphic black and white.
“We wanted something more structured to work with the pop-ups in the collection,” he continued, referring to the subtle 3D overlays that gave depth to his ready-to-wear.
The wader style represents a more sartorial version of Martens’ signature women’s shoe, the ruched thigh-high boot. “We made them really wide so you can tuck your pants into them,” he said. “Shoes can really change your whole silhouette. I find this to be more true than with clothing. So while you might be wearing a jogger, if you team it with an amazing shoe, you’re almost dressed for a cocktail.”
As for those elevated heels, Martens said, “when I wear bigger heels I really feel like they change the posture — they make you more elegant and give you more height.”
And in another gender-fluid play (which was most notably seen with Hedi Slimane’s unisex looks at Celine), all of Marten’s new shoes will come in women’s sizing as well.
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