Salvatore Ferragamo is a leather goods company at its core — something that its creative director Paul Andrew has kept in mind since he joined the Italian luxury house in 2016 as women’s footwear director. Since then, and throughout a few promotions (he was promoted to Ferragamo creative director in February 2019), Andrew has been respectful of that legacy, pulling from the archives for many of the shoes he has put on the runway.
At the brand’s spring ‘20 show in Milan on Saturday, he appeared to paint more outside of those lines, showing a collection with a lightness that also brought some new ideas to Ferragamo’s footwear.
There were still some old ideas thrown in. The first look had model Binx Walton walking in a pair of what looked like white leather Vara flats, paired with white silk socks. They were actually the Viva flat, a new take on the brand’s iconic ballerina with a more pointed toe, and they appeared a few more times in the show, with bright pink shorts and white shirt dresses, adding primness to the looks.
After that, it was mostly a strappy leather sandal show, with low, sculptural heels that were monochrome or color blocked. Ankle ties that drew attention to the foot showed under several that were paired with pants. It was Andrew’s version of the “naked” sandal and a reminder that he is a modern designer, not one who just pulls from archives.
For men, there were variations of the espadrille, done as a sneaker, a boot and a little hybrid of all those things.
There was also a series of PVC sandals done with three straps in multiple translucent colors and a chunky heel. The most puzzling and intriguing part of the entire show was the leather sock that was paired with these shoes. What does a leather sock feel like? Are they lined inside? Do they make your feet sweat — especially on a warm and sunny morning in Milan? Do they help with the slippage that silk fashion socks tend to suffer from when paired with a higher heel?
(A quick Google search of “leather socks” revealed that it is best known as a sock for practicing Muslims who need to keep their feet warm during prayer. Called a ‘”khuffayn,” there is something Margiela-like about them, except that there are no individual toes.)
Perhaps the socks are just for the show, but come next fashion month in February, they could very well be a thing. Commercially, the sandals were the most viable part of the collection, and their simple, fun, sexy strappy shapes are sure to sell right next to those pious Vivas.
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