Classic Loafers Make Return After Sneaker Hegemony
Significant surge in demand for the loafer: A functional, versatile and fashionable addition to men’s wardrobe
The ‘loafer’, long considered as a conservative shoe, is making its return to men’s wardrobes as a fashionable addition that is functional and versatile. This comfortable shoe has seen a significant surge in demand, with supplies being out of stock since September.
Graziella Dubief, head of footwear purchases at AFP Galeries Lafayette in Paris, says,”There is a kind of obsession with moccasins and we have been out of stock since September. It is a shoe for the whole year, compatible with all looks, functional and versatile.” Pierre Hardy, designer of shoes for the luxury brand Hermès, also confirms a rise in demand “this season and in summer purchases.”
In London, Thom Scherdel, purchasing manager at Browns stores, said, “Formal footwear is gaining ground among buyers for the first time in years.” This has been confirmed by a report by the Business of Fashion website, which showed that designer footwear (men’s and women’s) is estimated to rise to $40 billion in the next four years.
The surge in demand is attributed to a ‘boomerang effect’, according to Olivier Saillard, fashion historian and artistic director of JM Weston, a French maker of luxury loafers. Saillard explains that after a fatiguing period of home style, people are buying more elegant items for when they are permitted to go out.
Romain Costa, a 32-year-old Parisian architect, told AFP, “I like to wear adult shoes. In my job, it’s reassuring,” adding that loafers age better. The loafer, it seems, is here for the long haul.