Everything You Need to Know About the Shoes at Paris Fashion Week: Balenciaga’s Crocs, Alexandre Birman’s Glamorous Evening Sandals

As Paris Fashion Week heats up, here is everything you need to know about the shoes — from the runway to the the showrooms to the street. Plus, the collaborations you can’t miss.

Sunday, Oct. 3

Collaboration Watch: Ludovic de Saint Sernin x Piferi


Ludovic de Saint Sernin and rising star Alfredo Piferi joined forces on a gender-neutral shoe collection that debuted during the young designer’s Paris Fashion Week show.

“Many people have tried to do what he’s done, but it never looked so sharp and so credible. That’s what caught my attention, plus the sensuality of the brand was really matching the core elements of my own label,” said Piferi, who worked with de Saint Sernin to create a range of sleek flat sandals and sexy lace-up kitten heels. — Natalie Theodosi 

Saturday, Oct. 2

On the Runway: Balenciaga

Balenciaga’s spring ’22 presentation during Paris Fashion Week consisted of two parts: a photocall on a Hollywood-style red carpet, with appearances from Cardi B, Elliott Page, Lewis Hamilton and more, wearing the new collection, as well as a movie premiere starring The Simpsons.

The line included several accessory debuts and updates, including The Space Shoe, which is made from single mold alternative and  the classic derby, made entirely of EVA material.

In addition, Balenciaga unveiled its newest Crocs collab, featuring a metal-fortified platform with a cyber goth aesthetic.

Friday, Oct. 1

On the Runway: Loewe

Jonathan Anderson created a surrealist, psychedelic collection for Loewe’s spring ’22 collection. Head-turners this season came in the form of simple, strappy sandals. From the front, the shoes seemed to be in its normal form, however, its heels were shaped in a range of objects, including a broken egg, nail polish, pink birthday candles and a short-stemmed rose.

Loewe, spring 2022,
Loewe spring ’22.
CREDIT: Courtesy of WWD

Presentation News: Evening at Alexandre Birman

After Brazilian pop star Anitta debuted Alexandre Birman’s exclusive Swarovski crystal evening sandal for the Met Gala, the label is doubling down on glamour for spring ’22.

“For sure it’s going to be the return of life and events. We bet on brights and a lot of shiny colors,” said Alexandre Birman of the collection. Two standouts — the décolleté peep-toe pump in shiny purple and green, and the rainbow Swarovski sandal in two heel heights.

Platforms, a big story across the collections, also show up in sky-high glittery versions. “Were going to shout out loud,” the designer said.

For a more daytime look, the signature Clarita, in a variety of eye-catching colors, gets the platform treatment too.

Natural-stone embellished and woven sandals — in high heels, block heels and flats — are also featured prominently.

Alexandre BIrman, evening
Evening sandals at Alexandre Birman
CREDIT: Marc Patrick/BFA.com

Presentation News: Pierre Hardy’s New Sustainable Collection

Pierre Hardy used the extra time he had during the pandemic to build a more sustainable future for his label. The result? A new collection called Planet, which is about 80% sustainable, the designer says.

“We had to reconsider different materials and manufacturers,” he said. “I wanted to make it different, but not have it look different. Some styles are exactly the same as the main collection. I wanted to know if it was possible to create the same shoe in a sustainable way.”

Pierre Hardy, sustainable, sandal
Pierre Hardy’s new Planet collection features signature styles in eco-friendly materials.
CREDIT: Courtesy Image

The new Planet collection, now in its second season, uses eco-friendly materials on Hardy’s signature designs, from the cube print to the geometric sneakers.

The designer revived old leather stocks and tapped into regenerated nylon as a key material. He also used a recycled material for the soles, and chrome and metal-free tanned leather for the lining.

Going forward, the designer plans to incorporate all of his new sustainability learnings into the main collection.

“It makes you discover a different way of working. It’s like a lab in which we can experiment,” he said.

Thursday, Sept. 30.

On the Runway: Rick Owens + Chloé

For spring ’22, Rick Owens made a statement with a range of extreme platform, gladiator-like thigh-high sandals. The leather looks included panels that went well-above the knee and featured straps that hooked up the entire leg. There were also platforms designed with a plexi, block heel styled with fuzzy legwarmers. The rest of the collection included sculptural looks, from cut-out dresses to jackets with exaggerated shoulders.

Rick Owens, spring 2022
Rick Owens spring ’22.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Owenscorp

At Chloé, creative director Gabriela Hearst put sustaintability to the forefront for the label’s spring ’22 collection. Shown on the runway was a new sneaker style, called the Nama, which uses 80% less water and emits 35% fewer greenhouses gases than its previous Sonnie model. Then were a range of sandals featured made in a partnership with Kenya-based nonprofit Ocean Sole. The sandals were designed with multicolored soles made from upcycled flip-flops recovered from the ocean.

Presentation News: Roger Vivier’s Musical Short Film

Roger Vivier creative director Gherardo Felloni released his spring ’22 musical short film, “Flooded,” on Thursday at Paris Fashion Week. The spot, inspired by a ’90s music video, features a theme song called “Floodland” — which was both composed and sung by the creative director, who spent six years studying opera. (The designer also formed an imaginary band for the occasion, called the Wuthering Cats.)

The film, directed by Andrea Danese, follows a lonely, young boy who finds a Roger Vivier box with his mother’s memories — and discovers a whole new world in the process when the “Floodland” song begins. At the end of the film, Isabella Rossellini makes an appearance, encouraging the boy to be himself and follow his dreams. Anna Cleveland also stars in the film.

For more on the spring ’22 collection, click here.

roger vivier, flooded, spring 2022, anna cleveland
Anna Cleveland for Roger Vivier’s “Flooded” film.

Presentation News: Christian Louboutin’s Immersive Experience

Christian Louboutin has explored various digital formats during recent seasons — at a time when the pandemic halted in person presentations — including augmented reality, 3D and gaming.

This week, the label unveiled “Loubillusions,” a digital/physical hybrid event at a former foundry turned digital museum. Four animations designed by the Louboutin in-house team — including a Japanese garden and golden waterfalls — played on a continuous loop on giant floor-to-ceiling screens. And while there was IRL product interspersed throughout the space, the oversized digital versions of the styles, displayed as part of the animations, were equally as compelling.

For more on Louboutin’s full spring ’22 collection, see here.

Christian Louboutin, spring 22, Paris Fashion Week
Inside Christian Louboutin’s immersive experience at Paris Fashion Week.

Wednesday, Sept. 29

On the Runway: Balmain

It was one of the most anticipated events of Paris Fashion Week — and Olivier Rousteing’s 10th anniversary show for Balmain definitely delivered. Beyoncé, who has worn Balmain looks during countless occasions, such as her memorable Coachella music festival performance in 2018, honored Rousteing with a heartwarming speech to open the show. Naomi Campbell, Carla Bruni, Karen Elson and more supermodels walked the runway in an emotional finale. As for the designs, the designer revealed that he suffered burns in an accident about a year ago that inspired the collection.

Precious Lee, spring 2022 paris fashion week balmain show
Precious Lee on the runway for Balmain’s spring 2022 Paris Fashion Week show.

Tuesday, Sept. 28

On the Runway: Saint Laurent + Dior

After a Milan season that ushered in the return of the party shoe, expectations are high for the Paris Collections — and the shoes too. And so far designers are delivering.

As the Saint Laurent show opened, the audience heard the comforting sound of clicking heels. And once the lights went up, creative director Anthony Vaccarello’s vertiginous platforms  — immediately evoking the iconic Tribute style — and pointy pumps were in full view as models teetered down the runway in bodysuits and sexy evening looks. Accessories, from leather gloves to flashy jewels, were definite high points too.

Earlier at Dior, the other big show of the day, the shoes were a bit more grounded, with 1960s-inspired Go-go Boots and low-heeled Mary Janes the footwear du jour for Maria Grazia Chiuri.

Nodaleto, Bridal Collection, Paris Fashion Week
Nodaleto’s new bridal chunky Mary Jane
CREDIT: Courtesy Image

Party Scene: Here Comes the Bride at Nodaleto

Fresh off its buzzy collaboration with Heaven by Marc Jacobs, Nodaleto has some more breaking news — the launch of its bridal collection.

“All of my friends kept asking me to design their wedding shoes, and I’m also getting married next summer,” said Nodaleto co-founder and designer Julia Toledano, who plans to walk down the aisle in the South of France. The designer held court on Tuesday at a cocktail party in the future Parisian home of Dover Street Market.

In classic Nodaleto style, the designer reimagined her chunky-heel Mary Jane platform in a white silk version with crystal buckles. There’s also a Western-inspired bridal boot, with a flourish of “something blue.”

Collab Watch

While sneakers aren’t the major story this season, Puma made a surprise splash on the Koché runway.

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