Though 2020’s spring season has endured more than its fair share of disruptions, brands and retailers in the footwear sector are pressing forward in preparation for 2021.
Trend experts at MICAM Milano, the biannual footwear show held in February and September in Milan (which recently partnered with Informa Markets to create MICAM Americas, to run alongside the Magic Las Vegas marketplace) have revealed new insights into next year’s footwear trends for men and women.
The trend will appeal to minimalists and conscious consumers who enjoy repurposing their wares, and will be defined by timeless neutral and natural tones like “rich, tawny browns… grassy greens… moody blues and washed-out purple hues.”
Silhouettes will pull from agricultural and traditional styles, using natural materials like leather and textiles. For women, espadrilles, huarache sandals and western ankle booties will reign supreme, while men will embrace fisherman sandals, sneakerdrilles, loafers and practical, buckle-strap sandals.
The Transform trend embraces modernist styling that projects a “light at the end of the tunnel” during a time of global crisis. The aesthetic is characterized by all-black styling, tough and durable animal skins and a survivalist outlook. Magic and witchcraft, both darker, subcultural narratives, will imbue the style with “a hint of disquiet.”
Contrasting elements like light, sheer fabrications and ethereal metallics will punctuate the aesthetic’s mimimalist lines, balancing the somber tone with a sense of optimism. Blues, greens and silvery tones give designs an otherworldly quality, while stacked chunky soles and utility detailing will pervade both men’s and women’s styling.
Both men and women will see silhouettes like platform combat boots and multi-strap sandals.
Combining elements of the past, present and future through a virtual lens, GameScape showcases digital design through the ages. As consumers’ online and offline lives become “more enmeshed,” analysts said, the aesthetic combines references to cultural phenomena like ‘80s video games with a new, hyperdigital uniform.
“As our online and real-life existences become more and more intertwined, we will see growing cross-pollination between the two, with digital becoming increasingly important,” analysts said. “The 1980s are seen as the cultural and aesthetic dawn of digital culture, and used to connect with a hacker’s mindset.”
Footwear for both men and women will center, of course, around sneakers. Nostalgic, athletic-inspired designs in pastels and bright pops of color will be key to this look, while photographic prints will also become a familiar motif. Women will also see new takes on older silhouettes, like stiletto heels and block-heeled clogs.
“Colours in this trend have a saturated and artificial edge, designed to appeal on screen as much as they will in real life,” analysts said.