MAR­KET MOVERS: LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS

Footwear News - - INSIDER -

Men’s has been buzzing for some time — and for spring ’19, sev­eral ma­jor wom­enswear de­sign­ers in­tro­duced the cat­e­gory in run­way shows and pre­sen­ta­tions along­side their women’s of­fer­ings.

Pra­bal Gu­rung made the big­gest splash into the mar­ket with sporty but el­e­gant pieces that com­ple­mented the col­or­ful fem­i­nine frocks and san­dals the de­signer showed at his glob­ally-in­spired show. “Grow­ing up, I’d of­ten ex­per­i­ment with mix­ing menswear and wom­enswear to tell the story that vis­ually rep­re­sented who I was,” the de­signer ex­plained in an In­sta­gram post on the new col­lec­tion. And on-foot for the guys? A man­dal sup­plied by Dr. Martens.

In Paris, for what is per­haps the most hotly an­tic­i­pated show of the sea­son, Hedi Sli­mane is set to de­but menswear at Cé­line. Ear­lier this sum­mer, French wom­enswear de­signer Si­mon Porte Jac­que­mus showed his first men’s col­lec­tion (al­beit bare­foot). The Row also an­nounced it would de­but menswear, with tai­lored pieces go­ing straight to re­tail in Oc­to­ber.

Gen­der iden­tity and flu­id­ity con­tinue to in­spire cre­ative tal­ent, and the de­sign trio be­hind Va­quera showed many of its most fem­i­nine looks (prom dresses and other school-in­spired pieces) on teenage boys, who clomped down the run­way in white high-heeled pumps.

Er­dem’s col­lec­tion was in­spired by two fa­mous 19th cen­tury cross-dressers — with mod­els’ faces ob­scured be­neath veiled bon­nets. Shoes in­cluded pretty Vic­to­rian-style an­kle boots and slip­pers with square toes and be­jew­eled buck­les worn by men of that era.

Back in New York, in a full-cir­cle twist,

Tibi founder and de­signer Amy Smilovic showed menswear-in­spired women’s pieces — like pantsuits, boxy shorts and trench coats — on men. “I have five or six guys in our of­fice, and they are wear­ing Tibi,” said Smilovic. “It just felt very right to do it on the run­way.”

The de­signer cred­its a turn to a more fem­i­nine aes­thetic as rea­son to add tai­lored pieces. “When I wear some­thing very fem­i­nine, I need to bal­ance it with some­thing that has a mas­cu­line spin,” she said. “What you’re go­ing to see heav­ily in Europe is a resur­gence of fem­i­nin­ity on the run­way. It’s some­thing I’ve been feel­ing very much in the past six months or so.”

The re­ac­tion to the brand’s show has been so strong that Smilovic is con­sid­er­ing a small cap­sule launch of men’s pieces. “We’ve been hounded now with re­quests for men’s. It’s a ‘maybe,’ with a heavy ‘likely.’”

For now, the brand’s leather flip-flops (which will be pro­duced in navy, dark brown and white) are a good gen­der-neu­tral start.

A trench coat, leather flip flops and the same shorts — all women’s pieces — shown on a man at Tibi’s run­way show

A blazer, boxy shorts and booties at Tibi

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