“Shoes are the hot category right now. They seem to be grabbing everyone’s attention and are having their moment in the limelight.”
Fresh off Paris Fashion Week, Helen David, chief merchant of luxury at Kurt Geiger, is feeling extra bullish about the fall ’22 season.
“Designers are spending huge time and effort on the shoe category, and this shows clearly in what is driving sales right now, fun, colorful, sparkly heels, thigh-high boots — and when flats call — loafers,” she said.
Here, the executive, who oversees the luxury assortment for Harrods, Selfridges, Liberty and more, sounds off on the big trends from fashion weeks in Milan and Paris, new names to watch and the best comeback story in shoes.
Thigh high boots: “These are not just the super sexy versions we are used to seeing from Saint Laurent or Amina Muaddi. [Look at] the extreme, wide and exaggerated versions from Balenciaga. If conceptual is more your thing, go to Givenchy. For boho chic, there is Isabel Marant — and for the chicest of the lot, Bottega Veneta. My personal favorites were embellished thigh-high sock boots from Gedebe in every color I could get my hands on. There is truly an over-the-knee boot for every woman.”
Platforms: “We started to see this trend emerging for spring ’22, but it is firmly back in the spotlight and present on every runway. Everyone was wearing the Valentino Tan-Gos at the shows, and we are excited to see the developments for next season in new patents and strass. Versace, who you could say is responsible for triggering platform-mania, has evolved the trend with their satin Mary Janes in a more pointed silhouette, as well as with straps and buckles in leathers and patents — even extending to more winter-centric boots and loafers. [Versace platforms] are hugely popular for us and with long waiting lists, we sell out as soon as we get a delivery — and the more aggressive styles coming next season will be no different. We have now seen platforms at every brand from Lanvin and Bottega to Amina Muaddi and Mach & Mach. Girly, aggressive, sparkly, black, colorful, there’s every variant you want.”
Loafers: “Our beloved ’90s loafers are hot again. Prada really owned the moment last season with their Chocolate loafer. It’s a refreshing move away from sneakers and lug-soled boots which have dominated the market for a number of seasons and are starting to look dated. Loafers offer a chicer daytime [and office] look than a pair of sneakers. Prada and Celine remain the must buys for every closet, but Santoni and The Row had super chic versions, with a strong offer at Chloe as well.”
Purple: “Purple is the new pink — unless you’re Valentino and then we all want to be wearing the Tan-Go platform in Pink PP! But purple fever is everywhere — seen on the runway at Givenchy, Bottega and Stella and even off runway at Amina, Gedebe, Gia Couture and Paris Texas.”
Embellished Everything: “Thigh-highs, sandals, loafers, flats, slides, platforms — everything.”
Patent: “It’s everywhere.”
Top Brands — Off the Runway
“Amina Muaddi reigns and is really maturing as a designer and developing her shoe line into daytime styles, flats, platforms and a much bigger boot offer. The Begum and Rosie styles continue to fly for us, but her new platforms Dalida and Yigit are equally hot property.”
“Paris Texas is on point in a major way- their notorious boot has evolved into new silhouettes with a seriously sexed-up attitude as well as slimmer satin and crushed velvet over-the-knee versions, which are fabulous and must have additions to day and evening wardrobes.”
“Rene Caovilla is my favorite comeback brand – what an amazing job they’ve done. The rainbow of crystals and colors — still based on the Cleo — is giving fierce competition to our other best selling brands.”
“Sibling designers Mach & Mach have really pushed with this new collection to evolve what has now become the iconic double bow sandal, experimenting with platform styles and more square-toe mules. They have also forayed into boots and more day-centric heels, so it looks like the must-have party heel will start to infiltrate day-time wardrobes too next season.”
Top Brands — On the Runway
Saint Laurent: “It was undoubtedly the show of the season, with Anthony Vaccarello’s best work yet – by far. This was a quieter, more elevated sexiness than what we are used to seeing from him, which exuded old school glamour. It would have been predictable for Vaccarello to follow the platform trend, but instead there was a focus on the most leg-flattering sandals and the best patent thigh-high boots I’ve seen.”
Valentino: The most incredible set and a total lesson in color. Platforms reigned supreme here with not a rockstud in sight. It was fresh, different and emotional.”
Prada: Miuccia and Raf are always managing to march to their own beat, yet cause obsessive trends. My current favorite for being chic, retro, ladylike and exactly what we all want right now.”
New Names to Watch
Gedebe and Benedetta Bruzziches