With Milan Fashion Week officially a wrap, the spring ’20 season is taking a decidedly clean and bold turn — and that goes for footwear as much as ready-to-wear. Pack up the frilly dresses and pumps. The season is offering what many are calling “beautility,” in tailored but feminine pieces, some utilitarian shapes and comfort-driven footwear, a push that could also be felt during New York Fashion Week.
Here’s a breakdown of eight of the biggest shoe trends to come out of Milan for spring ’20.
1. Comfortable Slides and Sandals
The comfort angle continued from NYFW and made its way to Milan on both the runway and the streets, and many show attendees were sticking with their Birkenstocks.
Marni went full-on thong with leather versions of flip-flops, along with buckle slides. Vivetta designer Vivetta Ponti introduced her new footwear line for spring ’20 with a Teva-like sandal. Jil Sander went flat. Even loafer-centric Tod’s did a slide sandal. Gucci introduced a new pointy-toed flat with chain detailing that makes a compelling case for the return of the ballet flat.
To buy: Teva Original Universal sandal, $50.
2. Orange and Yellow
An orange look on the runway at Bottega Veneta spring ’20.
MSGM had both colors everywhere, in statement ready-to-wear pieces and embellished flat slides.
3. Super-Chunky Heels
Big, almost unwieldy heels made their presence known on the runways, first at No. 21, where designer Alessandro Dell’Aqua turned a chunky, curved heel around and then matched it to some of the garments.
At Fendi, a loafer, with a slingback that was hard to ignore given its oversize heel, was worn by Gigi and Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Kaia Gerber and was paired with slouchy retro silk socks.
Fendi also hit this category with its hybrid style, but Prada had a few that are bound to be some of the season’s biggest hits. Brunello Cucinelli also did a particularly chic style woven with the brand’s signature bead-embellished detailing.
While there weren’t many in New York, Milan is still betting big on one of fall ’19’s shoe trends: platforms. They came in a sandal version and in many colorways and iterations at Gianvito Rossi, where the entire collection was music-themed. Aquazzura also had quite a few, the most notable was a black-and-white striped motif (also used last season). Giannico designer Nicolò Beretta introduced his first version of the silhouette, done in his signature emerald green. Sergio Rossi’s textured hot pink platform sandal was the standout among a collection of heavy logo shoes.
Practical but still cool, flatforms and some lower-pitched wedges could be found both on the runways and in shoe presentations around the city. After a footwear hiatus, Furla reintroduced the category with a few elevated florals on a flatform sole. On the runway, Fendi and Prada showed a few styles. Even Gianvito Rossi had a luxe version of the popular ’90s silhouette, two versions done in simple black and white leathers with thin straps that wrap around the ankle.
To buy: Kaanas Barbados sandal, $139.
A surprise flourish among minimal designs was this season’s bows, which were all a bit different. Attico’s upside-down bows on a pump with ankle wraps felt subversive, while Giuseppe Zanotti’s mules were softer, done in black or crimson silk. Fratelli Rossetti had a more masculine take on the accent, done in leather and tassels, all on a slingback heel. Shoe newcomer Sara Battagalia presented pleated metallic bows. And Aquazzura opted for a bunny bow at the ankle of jewel-tone pumps and sandals.
8. The Square Toe
It was everywhere in New York, but in Milan it was officially confirmed that the square toe has crossed over from a quirky, niche trend to mass luxury status (which means soon, too, mass market status). It was still at Bottega Veneta, one of its originators, though creative director Daniel Lee also incorporated an almond toe into the new footwear. Elsewhere, it was everywhere: Jimmy Choo, Sergio Rossi, Giannico and Ferragamo all had a version of the square toe. As a sole shape on sandals, we’re predicting that this trend will continue through a few seasons.