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Three Footwear and Accessories Trends for Pre-Summer ’19

Women’s footwear and accessories designers are balancing natural materials with synthetic colors, animal prints and Western detailing for pre-Summer ’19.

A new report by trend forecasting firm WGSN reveals a season that calls on designers to consider the age-old belief that opposites attract.

Designers will be urged to “leverage authenticity with natural wovens” and “invest in patents to rebalance the move towards natural materials,” while updating classic summer staples with new colors and animal prints.

Here’s a look at three trend stories to know for pre-Summer ’19.


Women’s footwear brands are betting on snake in a big way. Real and printed versions of the exotic are among one of the most apparent trends in Spring ’19 collections. And snake is poised to take on a more colorful and eclectic look ahead of summer.

WGSN said brands can capitalize on the versatility of classic snake. The natural pattern takes on a fresh appearance when updated in “punchy” fashion colors like yellow, magenta and green, or redone in a mix of matte and shine surfaces.

Tibi’s candy cane-like snake boots in lime, hunter and mint green are a prime example of the trend’s fearless approach to color and texture.

Expect to find micro-exotics elevate accessories like belts and handbags—as well as their price points. Valentino, for example, used a variety of snake to make patchwork butterfly motifs on its cross-body bag.

For high impact, WGSN said to consider head-to-toe or mix-and-match styling for merchandising and campaign. For the less brazen, classic snake will suit smart, timeless silhouettes like loafers and flats.

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Pearls will take on a whole new demeanor for the coming season. WGSN said a renewed interest in nature sees organic and lab-grown pearls trend for women’s jewelry. However, the look is youthful with a touch of artsy edge.

The key, WGSN said, is to play with scale. Bib necklaces are drenched in pearls of varying sizes. Drop earrings are mismatched with one earring hanging lower than another, while hoops are worn large on one ear and tiny on the other. Pearl chokers wrap around the neck multiple times.

WGSN said the trend is an easy way for brands to fill a niche for versatile day-to-night baubles while leveraging the “rising interest in vintage” for jewelry and belts.

Artisan leather

The bohemian spirit of summer lives on as brands embrace artisan leathers and traveler motifs.

Basket and plain weaves will continue to be popular. Huarache-inspired booties by Versace and woven ankle wrap sandals from Jillion’s Sander are among the styles brands should look to for inspiration, but more intricate piecework and cutout techniques will reflect the more adventurous side of woven leather footwear and accessories. Bold colors and two-tone weaves can do the trick, too.

Brands, according to WGSN, should “opt for artisanal crafted leathers as a premium option for authentic summer product.” By trading in raffia for woven leather, brands can extend the lifespan of items like bucket bags and mules. The leather also pair nicely with another seasonal trend, Western studding and hardware.