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Berry tones ripen footwear sales

Berry tones, textured patents and chunkier heels are stepping into the spotlight on women’s footwear for autumn 08, according to agents and buyers.
The new looks are in line with autumn 08 international catwalk trends, in which designers used colour, texture and unique shapes to create statement shoes.

Debbie Lord, general manager at N Brown’s footwear etailer, said: “There is a lot of colour coming through for autumn with red, burgundy, claret and purple, which is a nice change.”

Belinda Sly, owner of footwear independent Sly in Stamford, Lincolnshire, said she was particularly pleased with the new autumn colours and styles. “It is lovely that there are strong pinks, purples and blue tones coming through,” she said.

Footwear agent Martyn Kirby, who sells labels including Vienty and Marian, said customers have bought into berry tones as well as classic black. “Wine shades have been popular – not traditional burgundy, but berry and purple colours” he said. “However, there has not been much brown this year, even though the shade has been quite strong in the past couple of years. Patents have sold tremendously well, particularly in croc patterns.”
Kirby said popular heel heights were slightly lower and thicker than in previous years. “I am selling heels measuring 65mm and below, with 35mm heel sales strong. Even in fashion shoes, people are looking for comfort,” he said.

Footwear agent Renato de Angelis, who represents brands including Apepazza in the UK, reported a similar experience with buyers. “Besides black, customers are opting for purple, burgundy or dark red,” he said. “There is a bit of grey and taupe too, but brown is selling less then in previous years. But when customers are buying it, they are opting for very dark shades.”

De Angelis said that buyers were choosing trend-inspired finishes over more classic footwear. “Customers are buying a lot of patent leather, some of it in printed croc options. Next autumn there will be too much of it in the shops,” he added.

Footwear agent Martin Ward, who sells brands including Rebeca Sanver and Christian Rossi, added that round- and square-toed styles had proved popular. He said they sold particularly well early on in the buying season.

However, he added that there had been renewed interest in slimmer, pointed styles that could be worn with wide flared trousers and jeans, which womenswear buyers are choosing for autumn 08.

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