SOLE SEARCHING: 10 FASHION-FORWARD SHOE BRANDS AT MAGIC'S FNPLATFORM
Another season of
has come and gone. This year's was especially special for me, because I had the opportunity to
- bringing you the latest and greatest in the world of footwear. I invite you to take a look at what I deemed as the most fashion-forward shoe brands on display at this year's showing:
- A more embellished and extravagant take on classic shoe forms - from oxfords to slip-ons - these were more than just on point for me. I love how this Belgium-based label took all the favorite elements of what I look in a shoe and incorporated it altogether beautifully.
- I know. What a surprise. I've been anti-Birkenstocks for the longest time now, but when I met with the team at this year's FNPLATFORM - I was more than impressed by how they're taking the casual minimalism movement to an even more refined level. We're talking about leather and EVA soles that are light as feathers. From higher end (starting at $220 and above) to the economical but still stylish versions (starting at $34), Birkenstocks is delivering on all counts.
- My second favorite sandal of the show came from Camper. Riffing off their recent collaboration with Bernhard Willhelm, Camper has grown significantly more high street fashion lately. And this trickling-down effect shows in this simple and structural sandal that is so amazingly wearable. Another trending factor of note? Camper, like Birkenstocks, formerly had more of an activewear audience that is now garnering the respect of high fashion insiders and bloggers alike.
- Made in Italy but bred in New York City, Del Piano is an accidental newcomer in the designer sneaker game but it's already making quite the splash with its unique production process and finishing touches that stay true to its Italian heritage. Founded by Torino-born, restauranteur-turned-designer, Giuseppe Del Piano always found himself bombarded with questions on where he got his sneakers. Turns out, he was secretly designing them himself for many years. Del Piano was shortly born - and with each pair being hand-made in Tuscany using modern methods steeped in centuries-old techniques, I have a feeling they'll be around for years to come.
- I don't quite know where to begin with my love for United Nude. I've been a fan of the brand for years due to their commitment to design innovation and experimentation. Although I couldn't take photographs of their newest SS15 men's shoe collection (which, by the way, will be so sick that I can't explain), I did manage to snag a shot of my one of my absolute favorites of the show. This is visual evidence of the metallics trend done right.
Another newcomer founded by seasoned veterans at Solestruck, so you know it's good. Naturally. These iridescent, hologram slip-ons and high tops caught my eye immediately. The only downside was not being able to walk away with them, since this will be part of their debut collection come this SS15.
- Paladium has always been recognized a blogger favorite, but it's taken me a while to warm up to them. Until now: classic, all-white rugged boots with that are deceptively light-weight. They'd go great with any skinny denim or jogger trouser pairing.
The Blonde Salad
The Man Repeller
. Superga has never looked like this before until the talented Rodarte sisters decided to take matters in their own hands and made casual footwear a bit more avant-garde. The mesh and snakeskin complement each other perfectly, and the soles chunky enough to make a simple but bold statement. What's not to love?
Lately, I've been living in Steve Madden's handmade pony hair slip-ons. Their showcase at FNPLATFORM only deepened my lust for their upcoming shoe collections. Quilted padding? Check. Snakeskin embossing? Check. In the form of a chukka sneaker? Definitely a check. These are shoes after my own heart.
The best part about being at show like FNPLATFORM, where you get to see brands that are both upcoming and established, is ending it all on an inspirational note. This is CRUCIAL was that brand for me. Instead of throwing around lewd expletives or sexually-laced slogans, the shoes from This is CRUCIAL are branded with heartwarming messages that are still very cool and to the point. The shoes themselves are quite subtle but the messaging is louder than ever.