Materials are at the very heart of new product developments for the AW 21/22 season. Know-how is eagerly celebrated, and worked in marvelous tandem with technological innovations, to re-invent iconic shoes and bags. Hybrid urban/sportswear models continue to delight, coming fully into their own in the latest looks in leathergoods and men’s footwear.
This season, footwear for the city pays particular attention to the choice of materials. Shapes are cleaner, favoring elegant but sturdy leathers, with accessories carefully selected for their functional simplicity.
Chelsea boots with rigorous and honed lines are worked in leathers with a technological sturdiness. Inspiration gives a nod to industrial design and is distinctly geometric: the toes of shoes are either rounded or quite square, with pronounced straight or conical heels. Classic Nappa leathers vaunt a striking uniformity, given a refresh with new waxy or gummy feels to ensure a boldly modern look. A search for eco-design is mobilizing all the sector’s players, and the tanners’ new developments are a dashing blend of sustainability and aesthetics. Organically tanned, chrome-free fish skins come from monitored farms, providing an inspiring creative alternative to classic exotic skins.
Whether matt or iridescent, these skins prove to be an interesting stylistic choice for the season’s boots. Soles are massive, notched, thick, and astonishingly lightweight. Made of EVA or TPU, readily recycled, they ally an urban look with technical performance and add a casual note to men’s suits, for a slightly futuristic look.
Sneakers tend towards clean and simple lines. Leathers enhance the grains of calf skins, whose sturdy look turns out to be surprisingly supple. Colorblock details on extremely light soles and mixed materials on uppers play on chromatic contrasts, and successfully offset pleated tailored pants.
The search for functionality also focuses on choices clearly borrowed from workwear codes. Strong and waterproof leathers, yet with extremely supple handles, add an elegant dimension to the season’s chunky combat boots. The choice of skin is essential, with crispy calfskin or goat leathers or full grain buffalo leathers with a more pronounced grain brought out by a special drumming process.
Poised between sportswear and utility wear, high-top sneakers come in beautiful full grain leathers with a patinated surface, or in a sanded split leather with a subtly eroded appearance. Details referencing the outdoors are abundant: multiple lacings with loops, metal hooks, thick notched soles. Linings are beefed up with thermal and sustainable performance features, including fleeces in recycled polyester.
New-generation sneakers influenced by the world of climbing are breaking down codes, continually pushing the boundaries between city and sportswear.
The soles are ergonomic and perfectly match the shape of the foot. They are lightweight and covered with technical fabrics such as waterproof and resistant Nylon© or bi-stretch spacer-knit for optimal slip-on ease. The addition of multiple and colorful straps heightens the contrast and sport references.
The men’s bags of the season are very much in line with the shoes. Nimbly alternating between elegant functionality and urban sportiness, they champion their ambiguity with highly contrasting volumes.
Unisex and easily versatile maxi totes are fashioned of resistant leathers characterized by their suppleness and perfect color uniformity. The mix of materials and plays on colorblocking lend an offbeat touch to oversized and ultra-restrained square shapes. Aspects go from the monochrome perfection of matt leathers to the subtle reflections of barely iridescent leathers. Handles are mostly tubular, for optimal comfort, while accessories – buckles and zips – are inspired by industrial design, with deliberately clean, matt or tone-on-tone geometric shapes.
Ergonomically thought-out bags skillfully balance sporty details and elegant materials to meet the craze for a gentler approach to mobility. Featuring functional details such as refined snap hooks, and stoppers and drawstrings in contrasting colors, they optimize their storage possibilities, becoming true offices on-the-go, stylish accessories for hitting the city’s streets and byways.
Leather backpacks with a grained finish are equipped with harness details, with adjustable straps made from multi-colored eco-friendly materials so you can enlarge or reduce the volume according to the day’s activities.
Multi-compartment bowling bags in thick leather feature colorful edgings. Rectangular pockets reduced to the bare minimum and intensely colored are adopted for everyday use, turning into cases for headphones and other electronic devices.
Unisex fanny packs remain a must-have with their appealing practicality, the perfect companion for casual festive get-togethers. Materials boast cutting-edge high-tech performance, with breathable and water-repellent coated polyamides in recycled versions, to reliably protect cell phones and e-cigarettes.
Also check out soon our article on must-have shoes and bags for women.