Why the Loafer Continues to Be Fashion’s Favorite Flat

From Grace Kelly to Gigi Hadid, loafers are a staple shoe for the fashionable and famous.

The loafer is anticipated to trend for fall ’19, as it was spotted on numerous runways during fashion weeks, including Oscar de la Renta, Celine, Marni and more. The classic, slightly masculine silhouette of the slip-on shoe makes it a power shoe of sorts, fit for wearing out and about or to a business meeting.

Model on the catwalkCarolina Herrera show, Runway, Fall Winter 2019, New York Fashion Week, USA - 11 Feb 2019
A taffeta mini dress at Carolina Herrera with Manolo Blahnik loafers for fall ’19.
CREDIT: WWD/REX/Shutterstock

Since its beginning, the loafer has always been a practical shoe as it was originally inspired by the footwear of Norwegian fisherman. American and British shoemakers began to capitalize on the trend in the early 20th century after weekend and leisure trips to Aurland, a coastal area to the west of Norway’s second-largest city, Bergen.

Bass Logan Weejuns
Bass Logan Weejuns penny loafer.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Shoes.com

One notable footwear brand that tapped into the style was American shoemaker G.H. Bass & Co. in 1936, which made the Weejun, a loafer for men. The style was so popular that women reportedly bought boys’ sizes of the fashionable flat. The company eventually made a women’s version of the shoe. The distinctive style took off and could be spotted around several college campuses in the United States.

As loafers permeated the scene, the shoe eventually found its way to Hollywood. The flat was spotted on stars such as Audrey Hepburn, Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly.

Editorial use only. No book cover usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock (5883396o)Audrey HepburnHepburn, Audrey - 1956ParamountFilm PortraitFunny Face
Audrey Hepburn in “Funny Face,” 1956.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Gucci, too, has always had an influence on the trend. Although it feels like the loafer has been on the fashion radar since September 2014, when fashion editors and influencers were overwhelmingly rocking the Gucci loafer as if it was the unofficial uniform of sorts during multiple fashion weeks, the fashion house has been making the shoe since the 1950s.

gucci vegas horsebit loafers, harry styles, victoria's secret fashion show 2017
Harry Styles wearing a custom Gucci suit with Gucci Vegas horsebit loafers.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

The Italian fashion house put its own spin on the loafer, updating the style by adding a snaffle bit in the center of the upper and offering it in black, as opposed to the traditional brown color loafers often were. The style continues to be a staple even today for both men and women.

vanessa hudgens, gucci loafers, leggings, abs
Vanessa Hudgens in Gucci loafers.
CREDIT: Splash News

Thanks to its classic style and comfort, the loafer continues to be favored in fashion due to its versatility. Here’s to the timeless style.

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