“Sneakers are not an athleisure article anymore: they actually belong to footwear market. Furthermore, they look appealing both to elderly and young women. For the records, such trend is confirmed as the high-end business keeps manufacturing sneakers more and more”. Danny Wasserman, one of the top buyers in New York, currently in charge of the purchasing department at Tip Top Shoes, a family-owned retail store, pointed that out while looking for new creations at FFANY. The New York exhibition (on the agenda on June 4-8), mostly dedicated to the mid-end segment, gathered slightly less than 400 brands, among which around ten are Italian. “I hope that such trend will keep up: both sneakers and platform models have been most driving our sales”, remarks Kate Blake, owner of Shoo (Milwaukee). Style, every kind of it, still lies on comfort, which urges brands to face a new footwear trend: wedges are gradually replacing heels. “Our customers, especially the mature ones, seem to be keen on buying them, as wedges, in their opinion, are a synonym for comfort”, clears up Like Blake (Rhea Nichols at Rockville Center, NY). Adds Wasserman: “Platforms and wedges are getting so popular because they physically raise up women and make them taller. Looks like style takes over after heels”. Same goes for Suburbia: “Last year I did not purchase any wedges, and now our clients are demanding for high sole platform sandals. That is why I am here. Looking ahead at spring 2019, I am going to buy black and beige pumps as well”.