“ugly” shoes still win, and Fendi’s latest debut creatively combines house codes with current trends.
On Milan Fashion WeekFendi opened the spring collection 2023 after an interlude in the dark. The first model stepped out in relatively muted clothing colors, but accessorized with chunky boots with an electric lime green pop. Models continued to show up in a mix of neutrals worn with unnaturally bright colors — and most notable of all: the shoes.
Chunky, rubbery, patent and minimalistic in design, Fendi’s latest shoe is, for us, the perfect contender for next season’s “it” shoe. And to a large extent it is because they are funky and border on ugly.
Aesthetics are always changing and they have accelerated their rate of change with pandemic. A big part of changing fashion trends since 2020 includes a growing love for ugly shoes. They were already gains traction, with shoes like Them and Kanye offers some particularly popular options, but the pandemic gave us a new appreciation for footwear that puts function over traditional beauty.
Here at Fashionista, we are not immune, either. As much as I love a sexy heel that accentuates the sway of my hips when I walk… or just makes me the height I wish I was… I also have a soft spot for ugly shoes. They are often comfortable, full of character and quickly complete an outfit with little effort.
But Fendi isn’t just jumping on a trend with its new brightly colored kicks. These are far from fads.
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“It’s about continuity,” Jones said in a press release, explaining that his starting point was Lagerfeld’s Fendi archives from 1996 to 2002. “I’m interested in looking at things that Karl has done and seeing how we can develop them – both visually and technically.”
Lagerfeld expertly balanced modernity in his designs with a sophisticated sophistication and a sprinkling of audacity. Fendi Spring 2023 rubber platforms meet modernity where they stand while being adventurous with color. The brand’s inverted F insignia is seen stamped on shoes everywhere for a subtle nod to logomania.
“At Fendi, I’m constantly thinking about practicality as well as luxury,” Jones added. “Adding heavy hardware to something very soft gives it both real functionality and makes it interesting.”
What may have been ugly before is seen with new eyes today as desirable. Images of Fendi’s camel-colored platform slides and off-white knee-high boots are stuck in our minds. These shoes change the way you walk, adding weight to your movement while making a statement with their minimalist-chic look.
Other accessories on the show took their own fearless approach to quirks. Double bags for a handbag. Small purses on necklaces and key chains that adorn a larger bag. Neon green and jagged metal logos for a handle.
See the full Fendi Spring 2023 collection in the gallery below.