Differentiating Through Data and Design

Striking a delicate balance in design is a worthwhile endeavor in fashion — especially for footwear. Italian footwear brand AGL does so through a deep dive into the mind of its consumer through data, taking a distinctive approach to designing its forthcoming collections.

AGL’s Pre-Spring/Resort 2023 collection, “Wearable Chic,” incorporates daywear functionality, wearability and upscale sophistication, the brand said. The result of “meticulous research of new concepts and needs for a cultured female consumer,” its collection originates from dialogues and questions regarding relationships: aesthetics and functionality, managing ever-changing desires, the balance between traditional expertise and innovative technology, and daywear wearability versus dressy chic.

Marking the brand’s direction toward a “futuristic and more contemporary” vision, its upcoming collections are described by AGL as “breaking with the past.” That means a diverse mix of footwear styles that resonate as minimalist but feminine, light, and even sensual, according to the brand. Through using new materials, shoe closures, embellishments, and varying heel heights, the collection is meant to complement the wardrobe of the modern woman.

Considered a “very important category of the season,” the brand devoted 40 percent of its collection to sandals. “Much research has also been done on the ankle, with the intention of elongating the leg by playing with double, single, asymmetrical, braided, lower and higher straps. Designed with different stylistic solutions and techniques and developed in various models, from flat to high heel, they all emphasize a more dressy, feminine, and chic proposal, still in line with AGL DNA.”

The collection also offers spring booties made with satin, decorated with shiny micro sequins, tulle, or accents of curled leather motifs; “wear to work” shoes that offer a wide range of heels, focused on comfort and wearability; clogs and plateaus, featuring sporty styles made with unique materials inclusive of calfskin leather, suede and denim-effect or raffia-effect leathers; loafers decorated with crystals or maxi geometric buckles; ballet flats embellished by multi-straps “that wrap the foot like an ornament”; and sneakers that are hybrid and multifunctional, offering nuances such as uppers with see-through details, perforation, studs and leather.

AGL said its aesthetic inspirations stemmed from what it gleaned from extensive research into design and comfort. “The aesthetic inspiration focused on the search for new neutral colors that could replace the classic ones to dress essential styles, yet rich in refined details, from the lines of the heels to the combinations of materials and processing techniques,” they explained.

“Designing a shoe is not just creating a fashion product—it is a much broader commitment made of technical study, courage in innovating and responsibility. We produce an accessory that is not only decorative, but that must also be functional and support the steps of AGL customers in all their daily tasks.”

The brand said that its research process involved the visions and creative trends of AGL’s Style Department, as well as feedback from its major clients in Europe and North America that was collected and discussed, in addition to AGL retail sales data, from its shops and online boutique.

Super soft sand patent leather criss cross sandal with powder pink ultralight wooden platform.
CREDIT: Thomas Wiedenhofer

“This is clearly aimed at the design and production of a collection that has a strong AGL connotation in terms of experimentation, research, materials, made in Italy processing techniques and new solutions for a contemporary daywear wearability —characteristics that, especially this season, embody a new interpretation and interest in a dressy product, and chic footwear,” the brand said.

Italian heritage plays an influential role in the brand’s differentiation from its peers. “AGL’s strong points are the high quality of materials, that it’s entirely Made in Italy, and the expertise of made in Italy processing techniques, which have passed on through three generations of family ownership. Our team always surprises us with new materials, shoe closures and embellishments. The contemporary cheerful and multitasking woman has always been AGL’s source of inspiration, and the goal is to design and create both sophisticated and comfortable shoes that are perfect for the busy life of women.”

AGL explained that the new needs of the end consumer are wearable shoes that pair well with women’s hectic and oft-evolving schedules to “support women in their busy life, throughout the day, backed up by research and refinement both in terms of quality of materials, new shapes, and finer details. AGL shoes are for a contemporary, active woman, who faces her daily tasks with energy, and loves to wear unique shoes that represent her, make her feel confident, and support her all day.”

Building for what’s next

As for AGL’s next steps, the brand said it will continue expansion into Western markets, such as Europe and North America—and June celebrates the opening of its first online AGL boutique in China at Tmall, with other expansions in China underway, as well as new developments across online channels in Korea.

And AGL will continue to develop distinguishing products, which remains to be “a continuous challenge aimed at obtaining an original and winning mix made of comfort, style, color combinations and proportions. We also aim to become a more consolidated brand at a global level, by using different sales and distribution channels, depending on the needs of the territory—thanks to AGL’s distinctive flexibility in design and production.”

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