Shoes and bags have been on a retail tear lately. The excitement in footwear and handbag design is palpable. As designers have taken style risks in colors, shapes and materials, consumers have rewarded them with ever-increasing sales. The Saks 5th Avenue flagship which has one of the most extensive and exciting designer shoe floors on the planet is expanding once again. Macy’s Herald Square is creating the largest shoe floor in the world at 39,000 square feet. There is a highly innovative period happening in athletic, casual, dress shoes and boots. In the shoe biz, the ante is up and it’s no time to bluff.
Shoes and handbags like the beauty area, are inclusionary of all sizes and ages, so all customers can play in the game. Plus-sized customers have under-sized apparel options so they turn to the democratic shoe floor for a fashion update. With shoes (with a few extreme exceptions), the forgotten male or female boomer can send a major fashion smoke signal, without looking like a desperate fool.
Women covet shoes and will reach beyond their means for status brands like Prada, Miu Miu, Valentino, Tory Burch, Brian Atwood and Christian Louboutin. They are also stuffing their closets with Uggs, Sperry, Kate Spade, Coach, Michael Kors, Nike, Converse, Hunter, BCBG, Stuart Weitzman, Cole Haan, Ivanka Trump, Tom’s and Isaac Mizrahi to name a few.
Here’s a run down on the best Fall 2012 trends:
Color and Patterns – Colors and patterns such as animal prints, are major drivers of newness in all categories of shoes
Lighter Than Air – Ultralight and colorful running and athletic shoes from Nike, Asics, New Balance Minimus, etc.
Retro Vulcanized – Retro sneakers are hot in new materials and colors from Superga, Uggs, Converse and other designers.
Glam Casuals – Casual has gone glamorous in boat shoes, slippers, boots, loafers and sneakers with glam styling such as metallic, sequins and glitter
Tough Love – Biker details such as buckles, straps and multi-studs on boots, sandals and smoking slippers
Oxford Grad – Classic and inventive oxfords continue in contrast colors and materials (Valentino even has lace tipped patent leather oxfords!)
Tipping Point – Ultra high ice pick heels and pointy toed pumps
Feminine Flats – The world is flat.. especially hot are smoking slippers in a wide variety of materials
Dix&Pond is the blog of Dix&Pond…creative and strategic consulting for retail and wholesale apparel, shoe and consumer products.