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are small and classy. There are sequins, rhinestones and pearls. There
are pinked edges and perfed leathers. There are fringes, either in a
Western mode or distressed and ripped from the 70's Hippie era. And,
there are embroidered Japanese figures and molded vinyl flowers. The
only enhancement that is not small is the bow, which is placed on a
strappy upper and stretches the width of the foot.
tiny heels and super strappy silhouettes, comfort has become the underlying
principle of the footwear business. Customers at both ends of the age
spectrum - the aging baby boomers looking for foot health for the first
time, and the junior customer who is used to her ultra-casual stomper
boots-now demand fashion appeal without the loss of comfort. The orthopedic
shoe has evolved into a strappy sandal with flex bottoms, cushioned
insoles, zip fronts and Velcro attachments. And comfort must be visible,
with see-through techno-bottoms, broader footbeds and removable inserts.
is stronger than ever, with footwear boasting not only a myriad of fasteners,
closing systems and treatments but also embracing such current fashion
trends, as the use of color, updated exotic materials and such silhouettes
as slings, asymmetrical toes and Mary Janes.
designers meet fashion head on, men's styles are more subtle, providing
varying shades of fashion. But fashion has progressed for men too -
just a few years ago sandals were taboo; now clogs have now become a
traditional silhouette for men. Other more interesting silhouettes include
the wallaby, bowler and backless slip-on with such features as big buckles,
whip stitching, and elastic treatments.
brown are still the dominate colors in men's dress shoes, but burgundy
and taupe are starting to creep into the picture with a few touches
of red and blue. But active casual, now the strongest men's footwear
category, goes to color extremes from black trail runners to dressed
up blue amphibious styles. Newer men's sports shoes include high performance
street shoes, sport sandals, and waterproof trail and trek boots. The
young men's market is still on the move, offering oversized looks that
combine big bottoms with classic uppers such as the oxford, the boat
shoe, open toes dress sandals and New York-bred street shoes.
is color more important than in children's shoes, where brights, pastels,
and whites prevail for Spring 2001. While women's shoes are now pared-down
feminine, girl's shoes are either baby-sweet or take downs from the
teen market (with clear vinyl, strappy mules with big flowers, pink
fur, slides and leopard skin dyed blue, pink and yellow). Dress-up shoes
for girls are shiny patent leather in baby blue, pink and white in Mary
Jane's (of course) - but also the more updated mule. And shoe companies
offer the matching handbags in black, white and pink patent leather
or floral print fabric to match little floral print sneaks.
to young, shoes for Spring 2001 are a return to styles gone by. This
season, footwear will be flatter, rounder, sleeker, slimmer and feminine
with brightness and shine coming from sequined embellishments, gold
fabrications and patented leather.
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