Consumers can look forward to a season of casual, comfortable, colorful looks for spring 2020.
At The Foot Traveler in Buford, Ga., founder and GM Michael Gravitte said wedges were a strong seller for spring ’19, a category he was expanding for next season. “Women want to be dressy and comfortable and wedges allow them to do that,” he said.
Saundra Chapman, owner of At Pawleys Island Shoes, Pawleys Island, S.C., agreed that wedges serve a range of wearing occasions. ”Wedges are a comfort shoe for many people, while they can also be fashionable.”
Wedge sneakers are also making a comeback, according to Reanna Osburn, shoe buyer for Kindred Soles in Dublin, Ga., who was adding them for spring. “They’re more fashion forward than athletic,” she noted, appealing to her customer base of young moms.
Look for sneaker-inspired looks to once again dominate the market, resonating with consumers of all ages. “Athleisure has been big for everybody,” said Artie Bush, owner of Bush-Flora Shoes in Roanoke, Va. However, he noted, “It’s not about big, bulky sneakers.” Instead, it’s a more refined take on the category.
Gravitte has been selling more refined athleisure looks to his customers who travel. “Lots of women are going to Europe and want something that feels like an athletic shoe, but doesn’t look like one,” he said.
Abbey Kirby, owner of Abbeyluxe in Birmingham, Ala., said while sneakers remain a trend at her store, she was shopping for sandals on block heels. “Customers are wearing dresses and need something more [refined],” she said. “Women can’t wear sneakers all the time.”
Whatever the style, retailers agreed color will be driving spring buying. “I love color,” said Beth Weingarten, co-owner of The Shoe Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. “It’s happening.” While Weingarten was putting the focus on rich earth tones, retailers were also looking for metallics and brights.
Maurice Breton, president of Comfort One Shoes in Manasss, Va., was going all out when it came to color. “Customers are coming in looking for it,” he said. “We don’t need to look like we’re going to a funeral. We don’t need another black pump.”
For Breton, yellow was the standout. ”We had a little of it for spring ’19 and it blew out,” he said. “We have an opportunity to sell more pairs next spring.”
Like Breton, Abe Rogowsky, owner of The Shoe Parlor in New York, said yellow sold well for spring ’19. “It was a nice surprise and we will continue with it.”
“Color will inspire people to buy,” said Duke Pinner, owner of Pinner’s Fine Shoes in Gainsville, Fla. “We’ve added more colors than in the past.” Yellow and pink were among his picks for spring.
Gary Weiner, owner of Saxon Shoes in Richmond, Va., was adding hints of yellow, green, pink and turquoise. However, he noted, while color is important, he was introducing them as accents.
While most retailers were adding brights, rich earth tones were the focus for Dee Dee Perkins, owner of Moose Tracks Footwear in Brevard, N.C., citing rust and sage. “They’re color without being too crazy,” she said. “They work.”
Watch the video below to hear what Iris Apfel thinks of the latest trends:
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