By Jill Manoff
After becoming comfortable with dressing for comfort during the pandemic, fashion fans are turning a new leaf. Warm weather, event invites and the rollout of vaccines have signaled the return to a life that’s more social than distanced. Now, in preparation — and celebration — shoppers are abandoning practicality (i.e., wearing sweatshirts and leggings) in favor of investing in bold fashion choices. We didn’t come all this way to be basic.
Marina Larroudé, co-founder and chief creative officer of footwear-first lifestyle brand Larroudé, launched in December 2020, said a strappy heel called the Gloria has recently become the brand’s top-selling style. “It’s sold out at Revolve three times in the last 40 days,” she said. “It’s also sold out on our website. It’s very delicate and for evening, and we have clients ordering it with overnight delivery. People are crazy about the idea of going out.”
Other brands and retailers should take note. In retail data company Edited’s fall 2021 runway trends report for fashion buyers, released in March, market analyst Kayla Marci called out the “resurgence” of heels, including disco platforms, super-strappy sandals and jewel-embellished styles. “The time is ripe to reintroduce this silhouette into [your buys],” she recommended in a paragraph titled “Time to party.” She noted that high heels in the U.S. and U.K. mass markets had experienced a 32% increase in the majority sell-outs of styles in the prior three months, compared to the three months before.
“People want something special, something else,” said Larroudé. “After spending a year in sweatpants and sweatshirts, it’s like, ‘OK, enough with this.’ There’s something about the weather and people being able to get vaccinated. It’s giving people [the nudge] to move on.”