Big news for Santoni is the new Santoni Rethink project. It features sneakers, boots, a tote and a backpack entirely made of nylon obtained from ocean waste plastic, eco leather and rubber recycled from urban garbage via a chemical process that changes it to rubber polymer. Water based glue is used throughout and even the hardware on the bags is recycled. The collection, for both men and women, will be delivered on April 22, Global Earth Day when it will launch online and in Santoni’s stores and at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York. But this isn’t just about paying lip service to the climate crisis says CEO Giuseppe Santoni. “The company has always been very green.” Thanks to a project started in 2008, the 3,000-square-foot headquarters and factory have over 8000 solar panels on the roof which produces four megawatts of electricity a year. “This is more thatn we need for our lighting, heating, air conditioning and machinery put together,” he said, “so we produce all the energy we use.” Even when it comes to Santoni’s regular production, they use only vegetable leather tanning for their patinas, newly interpreted for fall ’20 in bright tones of electric blue and fuchsia. Also new for fall are multi-material runners and basketball style high-tops. The presentation featured a chess theme with giant chessboards, oversize knights, pawns and queens. The concept, said Santoni, will be translated into pop-ups at major department stores around the world: in Europe, the United States and Asia.
The stage for new creative director Walter Chiapponi’s debut was a specially created gentleman’s club, the T Club, in Milan’s historic Villa Necchi. Models peacocked around a crescent-shaped bar showing off the house’s fall ’20 wares. The new star of the new season was the Winter Gommino in both suede and calfskin driving shoes and sheepskin boot versions, too. New loafers came with thick rubber soles and elegant evening shoes in a wool matelassé flecked with metallic thread, while sneakers got a vintage style update. In addition to the regular Tod’s double T logo was an asymmetric version, the T Timeless, which Chiapponi rediscovered in the Tod’s archives. It came both as an enameled buckle on loafers and wrapped in leather as a fastening on the bags.
Giuseppe Zanotti showed Chelsea boots with Plexi heels and wedge sneakers for the men’s fall ’20 season. The heels, done in both clear and fuchsia iterations, were paired with classic English Chelsea boot uppers. Meanwhile, the sneakers, dubbed the Talon since they bear a motif like an eagle’s claw, have a hidden interior wedge. The designer said they were inspired by the late musician David Bowie: “He has been my idol for a long, long time, and I love a wedge heel, so I put a wedge inside so everyone can touch Mars. This is my formula.” High-top versions of the shoe are available today as a special see-now, buy-now preview in Zanotti’s Milan flagship store. The full line up will drop Feb. 10. “Splitting men’s and women’s doesn’t make sense anymore,” he said of the genderless movement, noting that most of his label’s styles have been created for both sexes. In fact, he credited the sneaker universe for helping advance genderless footwear. “Sneakers helped us to discover a new planet,” he said. “Now we can do formal in a new way too.”
Jimmy Choo’s fall ’20 collection celebrated cultural exchange between the East and the West, letting martial arts legend Bruce Lee serve as a muse. The hero shoe was a kung fu-inspired slipper done in a custom toile de Jouy jacquard, aptly dubbed toile de Choo. It fused the traditional French storytelling fabric with motifs from Chinese art. “It’s the quintessential Chinese shoe,” said creative director Sandra Choi. “I was recently in Beijing and saw how young people wear them and they looked so cool. It was refreshing.” Elsewhere, the line featured Western boots with Cuban heels. Choi certainly has form here. As well as making the heeled boots Billy Porter wore to the Footwear News Achievement Awards last month, she also did the custom white crystal boots he wore at last week’s Golden Globes. Also with the red carpet in mind were ornate bejeweled slippers and brogues with tiny red crystals etched across the soles. Red is a lucky color in Chinese tradition, and Jan. 25 heralds Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rat, which ironically is also Choi’s birth year. This collection marked an auspicious start.
The Prada-owned British brand has added a new range to its footwear lineup for fall. In keeping with the dad shoe trend comes the square-toe Elborough, as both a lace-up shoe and a boot; the styles feature sturdy grained calf leather in burnt brown and burgundy colorways. However, while it may feel contemporary, it takes its cues from the brand’s archives and similar styles produced in the 1980s. The new models feature the brand’s signature Goodyear welt construction. Also new for fall is a rugged mountaineering-style boot showed with jaunty red laces. The collection premiered at a cocktail party in a Milan bar, which was turned into a swanky gentlemen’s club for the evening with Negroni cocktails, a saxophonist and a shoe shine station.
Fall ’20 was a tale of two halves showcasing two major trends: Super Pop and Ultra White. The former will surely brighten up the dullest of winter days with its saturated neon accents and printed inserts, while the latter will appeal to sneaker purists. One seasonal standout: the Royale runner. The collection will be sold at the brand’s flagship stores in Europe and Asia, at multi-branded retailers internationally and through its e-commerce channel. The label was acquired in 2016 by private equity group 21 Invest, which is run by Alessandro Benetton of the famous Italian fashion family.