Milan Fashion Week spring ’21 has come to a close. While it has certainly been a season like no other, with most of its attendees attending virtually, the week proved that a mix of digital-only and select physical shows could still bring some excitement to a (hopefully mostly) pandemic-free spring and summer 2021.
There were plenty of beautiful shoes to carry the enthusiasm. What Milan Fashion Week had (and which New York and London were lacking) was a continued bounty of easy-to-translate products in easy-to-sell categories (like footwear and accessories) that retailers can look forward to — and pass along the excitement to their shoppers.
Herewith, the top 10 shoes from Milan Fashion Week’s spring ’21 virtual reality season:
The highly anticipated union of Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons as Prada’s co-creative directors delivered a near-perfect mix of the two creative minds, including in footwear: a sharp kitten heel with a quirky tongue.
The show was digital-only — but that didn’t take away from Versace’s spotlight. For spring ’21, the clothes were as bold as ever, as was the footwear, which included a series of square-toed sandals outfitted in scarf-print-ties and accessorized with anklets.
Designer Nicolò Beretta may have expanded his offerings of flats and lower silhouettes for daywear, but his spectacular heels — including his caged Eve style done in new tropical colors — still give us something to look forward to next summer.
The Rockstud has been one of Valentino’s bestsellers, and this season it debuted the second generation, the Roman Stud, a series of oversized studs on gladiator-style mules with ankle straps, done in both flat and kitten heels.
5. Salvatore Ferragamo
For a Hitchcock-inspired collection, creative director Paul Andrew showed two updates to the brand’s F_wedge, featuring almond or squared toes and cantilevered pedestal heels.
6. Giuseppe Zanotti
The Italian designer’s spring ’21 collection has a few fantastical heels to daydream about, but his simple black loafer with a chunky sole and delicate crystal chain link detail will be worn every day.
There may have been socks and sandals on the runway, but Fendi’s best footwear came in the form of a flexible bootie done in intricately woven leather.
8. Gianvito Rossi
Is the gladiator sandal back? Gianvito Rossi is making the case with a square-toed thong sandal that laces up the calf in delicate red leather.
One of the highlights of Milan Fashion Week was seeing how designers’ lockdown daydreams of Italian holidays were realized in their collections. That included Etro’s, which had woven ankle-wrap sandals made for
Casadei’s signature Blade heel has a reputation for being way-up high (and maybe a bit treacherous). There were still plenty of those for spring ’21, done in a neon-and-neutral combo, but this lower version feels fresh — and fits right in on the kitten heel trend for the season.