What will consumers buy, in the USA, next Fall when, as we hope, life will have less restrictions? Will the wish to wear heels return or will people further embrace the comfort approach? Smaller handbags resisted the pandemic better than others, but will they continue on this trend or will larger ones make a comeback? WWD presented these questions to some US top buyers. Here is the result, which hand between many doubts on heels and leather goods that don’t value quality.
Doubts on heels
Heels or comfort? According to buyers, the answer remains uncertain, but one thing is for sure: the recovery of heels seems uncertain. Marie Ivanoff-Smith, fashion director of Nordstrom, believes that women will find it hard to leave the comfort they found during the last year and a half. In other words, she forecasts “stylish, but low” shoes. She bets her money on clogs. The same opinion I shared by Brigitte Chartrand, vicepresident of womenswear purchasing of Ssense, who points to Bottega Veneta’s Puddle Boots as the “it shoe”. Cassie Smart, head of womenswear purchasing of Matchesfashion, states that when women buy heels they focus on models with “emotional and iconic styles” and takes Amina Muaddi’s creation as reference. “I believe clients will have a very high-and-low approach to footwear during Fall of 2021: boots and heels”, says Smart, who adds that sneakers though remain a best selling article.
The handbags’ market will be softer, compared to that of footwear. Buyers think that smaller handbags will continue to do well and believe that consumers will have renewed interest in quality and artisanal craftsmanship. This is seen in the research of special materials and, generally speaking, of products with high-intrinsic value. “Craftsmanship is something to focus on – says Ivanoff-Smith -. Even in this current market we are seeing the celebration of the artisanal culture. It brings me happiness seeing the emotions it evokes, and the connection it creates with clients”.