20,000 pairs of shoes lined the streets of Paris in November 2015 as a show of a symbolic march against climate change, with everyone from the Pope to Vivienne Westwood offering their favourite dress shoes or heels to the cause. With every colour, fabric, style and brand imaginable decorating the pavements, heels have reached new heights, used in this political movement rather than just as a fashion statement. However, looking at the variety of shoes on display, it is impossible to ignore the way that footwear has developed over the last 5 years.
According to Footwear, a new Market Update from Key Note, UK footwear sales rose by 4.2% in 2015, as British men are going crazy for their own fashion trends and styles. Since the conception of London Collections: Men in 2012 and the roll out of more fashion-forward brands and retailers for men, male fashion has hit the ground running and growth in men’s shoe sales are rapidly outpacing growth in women’s shoe sales. Traditional, British heritage footwear brands, such as Church’s and Cheaney, are known for their high-quality, leather men’s dress shoes, and trend-savvy men are buying into the fact that they remain loyal to manufacturing in the UK. The region of Northamptonshire is being restored to its former glory as more footwear companies strut back to their birthplaces like a patent prodigal son, so that they can add the much sought-after ‘made in the UK’ label to their soles.
British men are demanding premium fashion footwear and the UK’s proud history for shoes seems to be the best place to start. And with 20,000 people now apparently barefoot in Paris, it seems that sales can rise further, with a few people likely to have hastily added some new shoes to their Christmas list.
By Rachel Sharp
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Notes to editors:
Key Note’s 2016 Market Update, Footwear, analyses the market for footwear in the UK.
Key Note Ltd has been providing commercially relevant market information to libraries, academia and businesses since 1978. With over 1,000 titles available across 22 market sectors, and new or updated titles published every month, Key Note is one of the UK’s most prolific and respected business information providers. Within the range, some reports are written in response to particular market conditions, whereas other reports will be produced regularly year on year.