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The future’s bright for footwear labels

Judging by what we saw at Bread & Butter in Barcelona and the new Compass show in Las Vegas, spring 09 footwear is all about colour.

I call it a kind of ‘kidult’ movement, footwear which takes adults back to their childhood days, and combines that teenage need to conform with an inner desire to stand out and relive their youth. All of this will be recognised next spring by combining brightly coloured footwear with more subtle attire, so that colour becomes the main event.

So for next season’s footwear trends, think about primary colours in retro Lego brights – green, yellow, red and blue. At Dr Martens we have used them as all-over blocks of colour on the upper and the sole on some of our classic styles; it is an in-your-face interpretation of the trend which has plenty of impact.

Feedback from retailers has shown us that they buy into these styles across the colour palette, so there is a strong merchandising story with plenty of window appeal. Last season Colette in Paris put patent neon styles in its window, which triggered some great sell-through, proving that customers at the more directional end have a thirst for new and different looks. At the moment it is almost a case of anything goes.

In Dr Martens’ case, we have translated this consumer appetite for more adventurous footwear by taking some of our core styles and executing them in brighter ways.
In addition to all the colour, the spring 09 season will also see a movement towards reworking core styles in more interesting materials and finishes.

Wayne Mabbot is senior category manager of footwear at the Dr Martens brand.

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