For seasons upon seasons, the fashion industry seemed to feel, collectively, that the only way to look polished was to wear heels, and high heels at that. Stilettos served as a badge of honor, a sign that a woman cared more about looking good than being comfortable, a word that’s often conflated with “slovenly” in style circles. Flats, for a time, were forbidden. We’ve chronicled the recent changing of those tides, and according to luxury retail executives interviewed by Business of Fashion, those changes will stay in place for the foreseeable future.
BOF talked to executives from Neiman Marcus, Opening Ceremony and Holt Renfrew, all of whom reported a big uptick in sales for luxury flats ranging from loafers to sneakers. Instead of looking at the increased interest as a trend, retailers are treating it as a fundamental shift in how women conceive of what a chic shoe can be. High tops, oxfords, kitten heels, midi heels – no longer do those of us who prefer more moderate shoes need to suffer the scorn of our fashionable peers.