Footwear has been a part of human society since the beginning of civilization. It serves a very essential and practical purpose: it protects the feet from the ground and the elements. While the practical aspect of footwear is obviously still applicable today, the fashion and ornamentation side has become just as important. Fashion footwear includes all the different types of shoes, sandals and slippers which are designed as fashion accessories as well as those which are designed to serve utilitarian protection against the ground. For many centuries shoes have been considered a crucial part of the look, but it is only in the last century that fashion footwear shoes have really become an industry offering.
This category includes a vast number of footwear options; from men’s fashion footwear to ladies fashion footwear, from casual wear shoes to formal wear options, from western style footwear to ethnic inspired sandals and slippers. The choice is entirely dependent on the occasion for which the footwear is being purchased and the look that is desired to be created.
The well documented obsession of modern women with shoes is completely understandable, considering the fabulous varieties and exciting options available in fashion footwear for women. They can go for relatively new fashion footwear such as stilettos and wedge heels, or they can opt for revived ancient styles such as ethnic mojaris or gladiator shoes. There is a truly dazzling amount of variety available.
For casual wear, women can go for comfortable and stylish options such as ballet flats, mary-jane shoes, kitten heels and sandals with a low heel. Footwear with a higher amount of heel and a stylish cut such as peep-toes, platforms and pumps are typically preferred for more semi-formal and fancy occasions. Shoes may also be designed with different types of straps or decorations across the vamp to enhance the look. The latest fashion footwear often come with decorative bows and shapes added to the shoe design.
Indian shoe styles such as mojaris, jutis, kolhapuris etc., have become very trendy not just in India but across the world. Though such shoes have a very specific, regional origin, they have today become well loved and recognized across the world and are consequently available in many modern varieties and styles. These kinds of fusion shoes retain the use of expert leather craftsmanship and intricate, detailed decoration across the top part of the shoe but feature more western and modern designs. These designs can be created by embroidering colorful threads, beads and sequins into the leather itself or by covering the shoe with an embroidered cloth or colorful prints.
Conversely, ethnic inspired fashion footwear also include western shoes adorned with various ethnic designs. Thus pumps, high heels, ballet flats, stilettos and wedge heels may come with dazzling beads and stone embellishments wrought into Indian motifs such as flowers and birds. In terms of colors, this type of fashion footwear can come in every imaginable hue. From pale pastel hues to bright neon shades, from glittering metallic tones to multi-colored combinations, fashion footwear can come in different colors to suit different moods.
The look of these shoes is also largely determined by the materials used. The shoes for winter are made of thick materials like suede and leather, while the fashion footwear for the summer season would be made of lighter cloth materials. In general, wood and leather (both artificial and real) are the most popular and commonly used materials used in fashion footwear.
Fashion footwear for men typically include smart and fashionable options such as patent leather shoes for work, running shoes for sports, leather, wood or plastic sandals for casual wear and leather jutis or mojaris for ethnic occasions. Men’s fashion footwear tend to focus more on the high quality stitching and beautiful materials to create the ornamental effect, as compared to ladies’ fashion footwear, which focus more on the shape and designs of the shoe.
Styles and Trends in Fashion Footwear
Like in every other category of fashion, trend and styles are always evolving in fashion footwear. While in one seasons stilettos might be highly in demand, in the next, ballet flats and heel sandals might be the preferred style. At the moment, ethnic footwear such as mojaris, jutis and kolhapuri chappals, as well as Indian inspired heels and sandals, are highly in demand. This is because of the major ethnic revival trend that has made all types of ethnic fashions cool. This kind of fashion footwear can be worn with Indian outfits like salwar kameez, sarees and lehenga cholis as well as western dresses and tunics with an ethnic aesthetic (in the form of prints, embroidery etc.). When pairing up fashion footwear it is always important to keep the look of the dress in mind. For instance, sarees look best when paired with heel sandals as they require a bit of height to enhance their drape and fall; with casual wear kurtis and tunics, ballet flats and kitten heels are a good choice.