Unpredictable weather, politics and trade deals may be top of mind for many in the footwear industry, but exhibitors and attendees at FFANY remained focus on selling footwear. Representatives from brands like Pikolinos, Wonder and Dee Keller said they were off to a more successful season than anticipated, and reported that buyers were seeking a mix of classics and fashion statements.
Hilary Scheffy, a representative of Dee Keller, said buyers sought more colorful, fun looks. Buyers flocked to the brand’s blush tone block, mirror-heeled booties and pointed-toe stilettos in shades of burgundy, green and black. Fun and quirky slides also caught the eye of buyers, featuring a gold, white and black tapestry pattern.
Similarly, Wanda Panda reps said their buyers looked for colorful and detail-oriented looks.
Chelsea Crew, Wonders, Pikolinos and Restricted said buyers remain focus on black footwear in classic silhouettes, however, they peppered assortments with gray and burgundy. For Wonder, shoes with thick, rubber soles sold the most, while Pikolinos saw retailers diversify their buys by scooping up new block heel booties targeting a younger audience.
Restricted footwear saw buyers scoop up velvets and patent leathers, but saw a slow-down in purchases of tall boots. The brand attributed the slow sales of certain suede boots and knee-high styles to unpredictable weather patterns.
While the politics proved to be a hot topic, reps said they didn’t think it had an immediate effect on their business. Anna Marie Longpre of Wonders, said buyers were more influenced by the election last fall, but she did point out that some retailers were taking no risks with colors. Joe Pickett of Wonders said retailers seem less stressed about product and more concerned about “getting bodies in the door.”
A representative from Klub Nico mirrored Longpre’s words, saying that they saw more apprehension from buyers last fall when the impending election caused uncertainty. Klub Nico saw retailers buying more immediates and Spring ’17 products.