Posts Tagged ‘sneakers’

LeslieGallin. Approved 8.2019Is it too early to talk about spring 2020 shoe trends? Ah, no! Indeed, it’s just the right time as the shoe show of the year, FN Platform, is coming up February 5-7 in Las Vegas.

Lucky for us, Leslie Gallin, President of Footwear  Informa took time out of her busy schedule for a Question and Answer with OverDressedforLife.

1. How do shoe styles develop?​

Ah, a very good question and could prompt a long response, so here goes in the condensed version.  Since footwear is a utilitarian product, meaning answering the needs for waterproof, activities and safety etc. … this category of footwear is developed based upon lifestyle – trends in developing lighter and more durable and comfort go into the creations.  Fashion – Women’s and Men’s dress shoes – will most likely follow the color trends of the season along with the styling of fashion – pointy toes and heel heights. 

2. Sustainability is a big word in fashion, how is the shoe industry addressing the issue? ​

This is a hot topic – we are seeing more and more footwear brands looking to sustainably and ethically sourced materials. Many companies are looking to reduce their carbon footprint as well.  I think we will be seeing more and more footwear made from plants and recycled materials.

3. There are so many shoes made these days from around the world it seems, and the quality varies. Can you tell us what to look for in a well-crafted pair of shoes? ​

Yes, fit varies based upon the factory where the shoe is made.  There is a tremendous amount of labor – human touch which goes into making shoes. Think about it, the right foot and the left foot must ultimately be identical! This does not happen from a machine.  A sewn sole to the upper of the shoe provides a greater stability and finer shoe.  Quality of the leather, you want a shoe that the more you wear it the more comfortable it feels.  Servicing one’s shoes is important to your health. Think about it –  if the heel of your shoe is worn down that can create an imbalance to your walk and ultimately your back.  Having well serviced shoes helps with your health.  Shoes need to allow your feet to breath, therefore finding a shoe with natural – real leather, sheepskin – fabrics will be a better shoe. 


Leslie says the platform sneaker is back for 2020. We haven’t seen the platform sneaker since the late 90s.

4. Sneakers have been popular lately; do you see that going away or are they here to stay? How might they change to keep interest?

Sneakers are evolving- no longer are they just performance driven.  This generation recognized one does not need to suffer for fashion. It is a youthful look to wear “sneakers” with dresses and suits. We are seeing in men’s shoes an evolution of sorts – combining sneaker insides and soles with the an historic men’s dress shoe upper. I do think the trend of comfort being a wider acceptable factor in our shoes is here to stay.

5. What’s your favorite shoe trend for spring 2020?  ​

My favorite trend for spring- mules for women and the new casual dress shoe for men.

Mules! I just noticed a beautiful pair of mules by Brother Vellies in Harper’s Bazaar. As for sneakers, they are this walking girl’s best friend. Style and comfort all in one. I also agree that taking care of our shoes is essential for our health, pocketbook, and the environment.

Thank you, Leslie! I really appreciate your shoe expertise.

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RUN-DMC signed a million dollar contract with Adidas in 1985.

Who knew sneakers were such a rich topic? The casual shoe once only worn for sports has, since the 1980s, grown into a cultural phenomenon and become a highly collectable item for mostly men but women, too. (They don’t come in women’s sizes.) It’s big business with certain styles selling on the secondary market for triple the original retail price. Collectors often don’t wear the shoes, but instead house them in specially designed closets or custom built display cases.  Hmm … intriguing.


Early Sneaker from the 19th Century

I recently attended the Oakland Museum of California’s new exhibit Out of the Box: The Rise of the Sneaker on now through April 2, 2017. This traveling exhibit from the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto explores the sneaker, tracing its history from the first 19th century athletic versions to the current craze among collectors for the next It Shoe.


These Pumas were designed by Hussein Chalayan in 2011. My favorite of the show. Love the simplicity with all the interest unexpectedly at the heel.

Over 140 pairs of shoes are on display including styles from Adidas, Nike, Puma and Reebok. There are vintage styles, hand-painted, limited editions, and designer sneakers from the likes of Christian Louboutin (complete with red sole).

The exhibit is arranged in six sections, helpfully outlining the development of the sneaker. Remember Converse? Basketball player Chuck Taylor endorsed the Converse making them the must-have shoe for every teenage boy across America.


Customized/hand-painted sneakers by artist Mache. Joker from The Dark Night.


The sneaker as status symbol really kicked in during the 1970s as Americans embraced fitness and brands like Puma and Adidas. Later in the 1980s, Hip-Hop and Rap artists took to  the casual shoe style as part of their overall look catapulting sneakers into a celebrity stardom of their own.

An entire section is devoted to Air Jordans, the signature sneaker styles of basketball player Michael Jordon by Nike.

Evelyn Orantes, OMCA Curator of Public Practice says: Sneakers are more than just a shoe – they are an expression of personal identity and a reflection of pop culture, whether it’s the latest sports fashion or technology-driven creations.

What a fascinating exhibit! I recommend this to anyone interested in fashion history, pop culture, pop music and of course all those sneaker collectors out there.







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