ShoesFur Shoes Are Happening
Some of the most influential fashion brands are taking footwear to the luxe-iest levels.
We've seen some pretty wild things hit the runways — and even wilder ones become full-fledged trends — but fur shoes is one that even the most open-minded, fashion-forward guy could not have foreseen. And yet, here we are, with fleecy, pelted footwear poised to become the next big of-the-moment flex.
It sounds far-fetched but a trio of cutting-edge Italian designers have given the style their endorsement, and the results are starting to hit stores right now. Gucci, which found a hit with its slide-on, fur-lined loafer, has capitalized on its popularity and expanded its offerings, to accommodate the brand's more-is-more policy under creative director Alessandro Michele. A new roster includes loafer options with brocaded fabrics, snake embroideries, and exotic leathers, all part of the general bonkers approach that Gucci's current iteration is known for.
The Milanese brand Marni, known for designer Consuelo Castiglioni's off-kilter, bohemian aesthetic, has long been known for it's use of fur. And for fall, the brand is doubling down with a pair of leather sandals with a fur-lined insole, the perfect mix of wild card eccentricity and Italian utility that has made the brand a cult hit — and ripe for a highly publicized partnership with H&M back in 2012.
Then there are the shaggy slippers that were shown with the fall 2016 Fendi collection, building upon a recent uptick in the brand's quirky appeal and on the house's reputation as ultimate furrier to the rich and richer. Designer Silvia Venturini Fendi sent out a collection that had took the recent hit of "monsters" — fuzzy critters that are currently Fendi's unofficial mascots and have become an underlying design inspiration — and put them on the feet of the collection's models.
As for the roots of this strange movement, look no further than Parisian brand Céline's spring 2013 runway collection, where the designer Phoebe Philo sent her female models down the catwalk in fur-lined sandals. Céline is a womenswear label, but Philo is an incredibly influential designer and this isn't the first time her ideas have been adopted by the menswear world. Philo's two-strap sandal style for Céline was so popular that it helped create the current mania for Birkenstocks.
Now, three years later, that same sense of whimsy is making inroads into the menswear scene. If it seems like a high-end lark for luxury brands that only sell to wealthy eccentrics (which, tbh, isn't that far off), even Zara has a friendly version—a furry high-top sneaker that retails for just under $100. Are furry feet about to be the next big trend? It's hard to say. But if it doesn't catch on, it's certainly not for lack of trying.