Newness is what retailers want and that’s what they got at FN PLATFORM in Las Vegas, Aug. 15-17.
Vamp spoke to seven new brands at the show, each with a unique story and design point-of-view, as well as a memorable Spring ’17 collection.
Scandinavian sneaker brand Backyard Footwear is taking a swing at the U.S. market. The company launched in 1972 as a badminton footwear maker and has since become one of Europe’s go-to vulcanized shoe brands for men, women and kids with a deep range of canvas sneakers in classic colorways.
All of Backyard’s shoes are sourced and manufactured in small batches in Europe. Each canvas shoe has a special suede reinforcing patch that covers the inside toe box—a defining feature from its badminton roots.
For the U.S. launch, Eliana Reffue, Backyard Footwear national sales, said the brand has pared down the collection to its core styles for men and women (children’s will come later), including the Copenhagen, the brand’s first style. Other highlights include the Tivoli, a court shoe with retro stripes, the Dannebrog adorned with the Danish flag and a fashion collection spanning with nylon and cotton material uppers.
Inspired by contemporary street style, Lemoke aims to meet the demand for snappy casual footwear with a sharp collection of leather sneakers, mocs and drivers for men. Specialties include leather boat shoes, color saturated suede drivers, sleek slip-on sneakers trimmed with natural woven materials and tassel loafers—all of which can be worn day to night.
The one-year-old brand from Portugal is also dabbling in women’s footwear for Spring ’17, offering slip-on sneakers with chunky lace overlays and bold prints.
Angela Mitchell debuted a collection worthy of a jewelry box. Heralding from Milan, the brand is the newest name to enter the growing comfort-meets-luxury fashion category. Each shoe is accented with a signature Swarovski crystal on the heel.
The line is designed by sisters Krystal and Marilyn Lavoie and Vanessa Joy Lehman—young designers who learned early on the value of comfortable footwear. Each shoe has padding in the soles to provide support at the pressure points of the foot.
The women’s range spans classic pointed toe pumps and oxfords, to suede and leather ankle wrap heels, T-strap stilettos and open back shoeties. Lace, hand-sewn pearls and beading add a decadent touch to the mostly pastel collection. The brand also offers two men’s styles, a traditional lace-up and a double monk.
Designer Charlotte Mills made a splashy debut with her core bridal collection and brand new range of party shoes.
The UK-based designer is known for her dreamy wedding shoes stamped with sweet sayings. The collection spans T-strap sandals and block heel peep-toe shoes, to delicate ankle strap sandals and cage heels. Romantic details like hearts, bows and sugar-like glitter add a dash of whimsical British style to the mostly ivory, rose and white collection.
Mills kicked up her use of color in the new line of fashion footwear. The line blends tropical—think fuchsia stilettos and gold and mosaic-inspired wedge sandals—with slinky. A range of black cage heels, pointed toe pumps trimmed with patent and T-straps with a gilded heel offers a razzle dazzle look for evening fêtes.
Kyma made its U.S. debut with a low-key, yet timeless collection of high-end Grecian sandals.
The brand launched in Greece in 2014 and offers natural and metallic leather sandals, each named after a Greek Island. The shoes are accented with a signature blue sole—a tribute to Kyma’s home country.
Key styles include: crisscross slides, ankle tie sandals, slides with side cutouts and triple-strap slides and thong sandals with ankle straps. The line wholesales for $67.50-$91.50.
Alice + Whittles
From manufacturing process to design, rain boot brand Alice + Whittles encapsulates what it means to be minimalistic.
The Canadian company, established in 2013 by two United Nations emergency relief workers, produces natural rubber footwear in Sri Lanka where the duo set up shop and trained workers. The company has a strong environmental and CSR story, however, its sleek and simple products sell themselves.
The Spring ’17 Alice + Whittles line offers unisex men’s and women’s ankle boots and riding boots in black/black or black/white colorways. One style—a cobalt blue ankle boot—makes an impactful statement in the collection. Retailers can select boots with black rubber labels or metal labels.
New brand Alohas combines the best Spanish footwear has to offer—espadrilles and avarcas—in one shoe. The brand’s signature style is a shoe with an avarcas upper and espadrille bottom.
Along with a core group of traditional espadrilles, Alohas, which already has the attention of the European market, spices up collections with forward design, including pointed toe espadrilles and shoes with multi-color jute soles. More premium styles include espadrilles with leather uppers.
The brand is inspired by Hawaii and adds an “endless summer” feel to all of its footwear through a warm color palette and sun-kissed materials.