“It’s going to be the season of the boot”: US buyers give their opinions on the coming fall-winter

“The style is becoming cleaner: we’re kind of getting serious. At first I was puzzled, and I wondered if the product had enough drive; now I’m optimistic. I think bootwear is fantastic and that all the materials used, from velvet to fur, will be able to drive up sales, especially in white. I think that shoes have stolen the attention from bags because I haven’t seen anything newsworthy in leather goods.” That’s the opinion of Linda Fargo, head buyer at Bergdorf Goodman, on the autumn-winter collections. She even gives WWD a list of the winners: the Balenciaga stilettos, the Isabel Marant and Saint Laurent boots, and the Altuzarra and The Row combat boots. Lisa Aiken, fashion director at Net-a-porter, also notes: “It’s going to be the season of the boot, presented in a range and variety never seen before, where colours have never been so fundamental, especially white and red.” Her counterpart at Saks Fifth Avenue, Roopal Patel, maintains that it will be “a season when people dress with more care, so stilettos are important.” And when “designers have really given some thought to what shoes would be useful.” As for bags, the catwalks are offering ultra-capacious models: “A niche trend,” according to Aiken, who wonders: “Are we going back to seven or eight years ago? A quarter of our sales are in mini-size”. Recurrent names include Céline, Chanel, Sacai, Stella McCartney and above all, Balenciaga. Jennifer Cuvillier, fashion director for the Paris store Le Bon Marché, remembers seeing “lots of maxi bags on the catwalk but I didn’t buy many. Novelties include velvet bags or bags with fur handles, and fur is also used in footwear details. Any names? Chanel and Saint Laurent for the silver details.” Cassie Smart, buying manager at Matchesfashion.com sums up prices: “They’re more affordable; look at Balenciaga, where everything costs less than a thousand pounds. The costs of luxury goods are beginning to attract more aspiring customers.”


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