Today is my 3rd day here in Sydney, and I have very literally 'shopped till I drop'!
Have found retail here, the handwriting, taste levels, executions and level of fashionability so spot on for South Africa. It does makes sense though, when you think of it..... both being in the Southern Hemisphere, both being of a similar climate and multi cultural societies.
Footwear has been very exciting. I found lots of trends for Summer 2011 being executed here already and have shopped into a lot of them.
A big area has been flat sandals - a HUGE category at all shoe stores here. Gladiator styling and elements of gladiator styling dominated. Cuffing details were also hugely evident. Lots of lazer cutting coming through as well as pretty elements like ruffles, pearls and bow details.
Wedges were probably the next biggest buyer's class. Some absolutely beautiful examples were seen: nett soles and platforms, plain and very busy executions, espadrilles and wood were all quite strong. Clogging was in the ranges - the true closed-toe versions were launched up front in the season and were going on sale now with the newer ones being a lot more sandalised and open.
I also saw a lot of sexy sandals - on very high heels, mostly done on nett soles and not platforms.
Leather is very strong here in Australia, and I think as a result the colour palettes were dominated buy strong tans, creams and leather browns. Highlight colours executed everywhere were white and metallics. Taupes and light summer greys were also seen. And lovely corals, deep truqs, light greens and baby pinks were the other colours I saw.
There was not a lot of beaded or ethnic embellished footwear - as predicted for Summer 2011. Each store only had one or two styles (if any at all). Generally the styling was quite plain and clean.
Party, or glamour footwear is very strong here too! They love their sky high platforms - and I saw a lot of peep toe platforms in patent and calf leathers. Sandalised glamour styles in mostly black colourways and then metallics were seen everywhere too.
Mules were very difficult to shop. I had to scratch around and found it very difficult to see any real newness in this category. Each store had only one or two styles - and many had none!
Lastly, I noted that Commando Boots were shown in almost all the standalone footwear stores. And not canvas ones, but quite wintery executions in leathers and pu's - and I also noticed many of the girls wearing them in the streets here - in high summer!!
What follows are the samples I bought to work with now in China.
|From Hype Footwear, was also executed in black.|
|From Wanted, from the Joilie Brand and was also done in black.|
|From ZU in a lovely light summer grey. Love the elastic details for extra fit and comfort!|
|From Steve Madden. This sample is trimmed with jewell stones in pewter. They also did plain versions without the trims in mid tone bright colours with the upper in a cotton rope type fabrication.|
|From Sportsgirl - Australia's take on Topshop (I think). This was done in 3 colours, a light tan with a natural espadrille footbed and a white with a cream espadrille footbed.|
|Stunning ankle-tie detail flat from Zu. I saw quite a few ankle-tie styles. Other colourway was a light tan.|
|From Sportsgirl. A satin crochet peep-toe flat. Second colourway was a silver grey.|
|From ALDO. I new version of the beaded ankle cuff from last year - cotton rope type strands with metal tube trims. This type of trim was coming through here quite strongly.|
|A fabulous back counter ethnic beaded gladiator from Betts!|
|A clean metal trim flattie from ZU. This is typical of the cleaner styling found here.|
|Another Steve Madden style - also came in a lilac pink and white execution.|
|LOVED this low demi wedge and the colour is so nice & fresh!|
|Found this great tone of orange and chain trim in a tiny little quirky shop in the Paddington area.|
|One of the few mules I saw - but a lovely version I think!|
|New more cleaner sandal from Sportsgirl with a more feminine gladiator essence to it.|
|This sample was found at Forever New - ultra girly styling, but nice to trim a plain and easy upper like this.|
|Beautiful soft chiffon ruffle rosette, again from Forever New.|
|I saw A LOT of lazer cutting here. This execution on a smarter shoe is so great for us!|
|Ruffle detail coming through here on this sample from Wanted. A gorgeous sexy sandal!|
|We know our customer loves thin strippy detail on her footwear - loved the mixing of the red and off-white on this low wedge.|
|A sexy sandal on a wood platform - nice for an AMBER clogg update I thought.|
|Died for this crochet or macramé type detail of this low wedge - SO new and fresh for Summer 2011!|
|The zig zagging detail of this wedge is actual individual leather layers - the kind of detail only found on Brazilian made footwear! I also loved the super feminine thin straps of the upper.|
|Thought this rouged canvas upper mule from ALDO a nice new look.|
|Gorgeous sexy sandal found at Wanted. This one is so so sexy on the foot!|
|Glamour embellished cuff sandal from Steve Madden. Second colourway was a lilac silver combo.|
|From ZU - beaded strapped glamour sandal.|
|Elastic can also be sexy - just loved this sandal in the metallic gold elastic and leather.|
|Pretty ruffled flat from Wittner. They did this style in 4 colours: tan, black, red and this off-white.|
|A feminine moccasin found at Wittner. They had 3 other moccasin styles in their store - all made in India.|
|An easy upper to use on the unit comfort unit we just opened from Winter.|
|Another sample from Wittner to use on the comfort pump programme. I found it quite interesting that Wittner, although a very fashionable footwear retailer here, had huge comfort and core category product footwear underpinning their range.|
|A good upper trim for an easy medium or kitten heel court.|
|Great core wedge from Wittner in the exact taupe shade I saw quite a lot of.|
|Easy cone heel construction with an elastic trim upper. Wittner had four different uppers running on this great construction!|
|Cork wedge with toe post detail upper.|
|Steve Madden used this ruffle detail as a trim on many many different styles in the store. This new lilac pink colour was also very new and fresh.|
|One of the very few ethnically embellished styles I found - but looking new and fabulous in the high summer white.|
|LOVE this upper for Foschini Collcetion. They also did it on a flattie.|