Brands at the Coterie and Magic trade shows this week were all about bold choices in their footwear collections for spring ’23.
The Sept. 18-20 showcase at the Javits Center in New York City featured a variety of pumps, boots and sandals that correlated with a general return to live events and the workplace. Overall, brands expressed a sense of optimism, with many noticing an uptick in orders from retail customers looking to buy more new shoes to cater to demand in the marketplace.
When it comes to the trends that will dominate the forthcoming season, certain styles stood out above the rest. Most obviously, Western boots were everywhere, even at brands that don’t generally specialize in boots.
Among the women’s product at Marc Fisher LTD, rugged boot looks have been a particular standout, explained VP of women’s sales Jennifer Foy. The brand’s most popular SKU this season was a $329 Western-style boot.
“Western has been fantastic,” Foy said.
That trend was also a big factor in Steve Madden’s showcase at Coterie.
“What we’re basically seeing in boots is a mix of Western,” explained Jake Frank, an account executive at Steve Madden. “Western is working pretty much in all categories, whether it’s a short booty or a tall boot.”
Frye, which is known for its boots, has noticed more customers seeking out this type of look as well.
“We have a lot of customers coming in looking for the equestrian look,” said Andy Smith, VP of sales at Frye. “Not necessarily cowboy, but a country western flair, and Frye has a significant part of that.”
Brands have also leaned into bright colors, building on the blockbuster Barbiecore trend that has swept the fashion industry.
“Barbiecore is huge, and with the movie coming out [next year] and with what Valentino was doing, the pinks aren’t going anywhere, whether it’s footwear, accessories or apparel,” said Kelly Helfman, president of Informa Markets Fashion (IMF), the organizers of Coterie and Magic. “The hotter the pink, the better.”
Along with other brands, Steve Madden was showing a variety of hot-pink platform heels that followed a Barbiecore color palette.
In addition to the bright colors, platforms and high heels also appear to be back in the spotlight, as in-person events and weddings become more commonplace.
“Next spring, platforms will still be very relevant,” explained Marc Fisher LTD’s Foy. “We have some good selling on them so far in the fall with bright colors in the platforms and new fashion dress shoes.”