As Paris Fashion Week kicks off this week, people are ditching their trusty trainers for something a little older: traditional dress shoes.
Data from the industry website shows that 45 percent of well-heeled American and British men plan to buy smart shoes in 2023, compared with around a third who chose trainers.
In particular, the moccasin, the most classic model from the Wild West era, is making a big comeback and leaving sneakers in the dust.
Whether it’s for the posh conservatives who still want to pair the moccasin with the shoes of choice, or the clothes your grandma wore while gardening, this classic design has evolved over the years and is now available to buy in a variety of bright colors, prints, and unique accessories.
“Usually it is a very classic model, very urban, a little “prepared” and of course, when new models come to the moccasin market, we have seen a little cooler, a little “casual”, big shoes, color variations. , materials which means as a result, moccasins for many more customers and It is aimed at young customers, “explains Graziela Dubeuf, director of shoe buying for Galerie Lafayette in Paris.
The history of moccasins
Moccasins have been worn by indigenous peoples of North America for thousands of years, and their name comes from the Algonquian word “moccasin,” meaning “shoe.”
The traditional moccasin is a slip-on shoe made of a single piece of leather, with the seam sewn on the outside. They were typically made from moose, elk, or bison skin, and were often decorated with lace, tinsel, or other embellishments.
Moccasins were an important part of many indigenous cultures, and were used for hunting, fishing, and other activities. They were also worn during festivals and other important events, and were often passed down from generation to generation.
Over the past century, moccasin shoes have been adapted and popularized in Western culture, especially loafers, boat shoes, and driving shoes.
Dress shoes are growing in popularity
The world has changed a lot since the Covid-19 pandemic, and with it, so have our fashion choices. One trend that has been on the rise since the start of the pandemic is the increasing popularity of dress shoes.
Formal styles are now all over red carpets and catwalks, sported by trendsetters like rapper A$AP Rocky Rocky and American actor-director Donald Glover.
And French designer Simon Porte-Jacques wore black loafers and models for the last time in December, despite his high-profile sneaker collaboration with Nike.
Some are still struggling to overcome the old meaning. “There are never loafers at the Hermès show,” says Pierre Hardy, head of shoe design at the French label. “It was a really preppy, right-wing, reactionary shoe.”
But Hermès still makes and sells loaves, and Hardy understands why sales have been booming.
“After the lockdowns, people are tired of everything being convenient. Now we have permission to go out and we want something beautiful, beautiful,” he said.
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They might not suggest the right vibe for the catwalk, but if you haven’t seen many of them at Paris Men’s Fashion Week, you’ll be seeing plenty of them on the streets.