fashion FN Platform

Spring '14 Footwear Preview With FN Platform's Leslie Gallin

Friday, September 06, 2013 Heather

It is the beginning of Fall, and you are vigorously shopping away to restock your closet with all the current shoe trends, but have you started giving thought to the shoe trends for Spring ’14? You may think that Spring is eons away, but finding out some of these trends might be key to making smarter purchase decisions now to carry on to the next season. It can’t hurt to plan ahead and extend the life of your shoe closet!

Who better to share her insights on the fashion footwear forecast than Leslie Gallin, Vice President of Footwear for Advanstar Global, producers of the most highly-curated and undoubtedly the most important footwear industry event - FN PLATFORM. Here are some of Leslie's top trends for Spring '14:

.Sneakers: “Sneakers will be 'everywhere' for Spring '14 in just about every collection. Some brands to watch for the sneaker trend are Blackstone, Seavees, and Lacoste."

.Fabric: "We'll see a lot more shoes with fabric incorporated inside and out."

.Espadrilles: "We've seen the wedge become extremely popular this season, and for spring the espadrille will freshen up that look."           
.Kitten Heels: "Shoes are becoming a little more feminine and dainty, and we'll see more of that look with the kitten heel."

.Chunky Heels: "Designers are offering a lot of choices when it comes to heels, and some are making pretty bold statements with very unusual heels, but the 'chunky' heel will be pretty dominant"                                             

.Men’s Oxfords for Women: "The men's oxford has become increasingly popular for women. For Spring '14, we'll see even more designers offering that style."

.Flats – Smoking Slippers: “Flats have been important for several seasons now, 
and we'll see that trend continue with the updated 'smoking slipper'."

I had the privilege to interview Leslie Gallin and get the inside scoop about her background, FN, and shoe trends!

Leslie Gallin

- Leslie... Tell us about your background:   

I started out in the designer couture business.  In the early 1980s, a group of us were instrumental in bringing a line from Europe to the U.S., which led to me being introduced to some of the people at the World Shoe Association (WSA).  I was asked to help them improve ‘The Collections’ luxury segment of the show.  Within a fairly short time, The Collections became a showcase of high-end established and emerging designer brands.

-How did you get to obtain the position you have currently?:
About five years ago, there were several acquisitions and mergers, and I moved on with MAGIC MARKET WEEK.  MAGIC has long been a global destination for showcasing ready-to-wear; but one of the reasons I joined MAGIC was that I saw a new stream of customers: ready-to-wear retailers now buying footwear.

-Tell us about FN:
FN PLATFORM (FNP) at MAGIC MARKET WEEK is North America’s most comprehensive trade forum for footwear.  It’s an international event where leaders and innovators converge to shape the industry, and shop and sell shoes in an efficient, easy-to-navigate environment. Attendees also benefit from high level networking, education and business building events. 

FNP attracts a global attendee base consisting of the most prominent footwear retailers and the largest buying groups around.  Plus exhibitors are offered multichannel marketing opportunities across print, digital, social media, and event marketing as well as our show planning and ecommerce site SHOP THE FLOOR

And we like to have fun!  David Cassidy is performing at our opening night party.

-What is the process of coming up with latest footwear trends?:
I travel several times a year to stay plugged in to what’s happening within the industry on a global level, and to meet with key brands and designers that set most of the trends we see at retail.

-How many months or seasons in advance are footwear trends determined?:
New trends generally start emerging about a year in advance.  However, we’re now seeing manufacturers speeding up the time in which they’re able to deliver product to retailers, which means trends are becoming available to consumers much sooner than years before.

-Why is trend forecasting important in the industry?:
It’s important to be attuned to what’s going to trigger consumer demand so that manufacturers can accommodate production needs, and retailers can stock store shelves accordingly.

-What is the biggest way to get the word out about up and coming trends?:
FN PLATFORM is a pretty efficient forum for manufacturers to educate retailers and the media alike on new trends

-What was the inspiration for determining the Spring 2014 trends?:
When you see several key brands embracing a similar style, silhouette, or colorway, it’s pretty safe to say that look will be a dominant trend for the coming season.

-What Spring 2014 trend will you not be able to live without?:
The sneaker trend is expected to be pretty prevalent for Spring ‘14, but personally, I’m really excited about the return of the feminine pointy-toe pump!

Now that you have a first look at Spring '14 footwear trends... doesn't it kinda bum you out that it is only Fall?

-Heather Blazek 
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