Nerdy, flat shoes? Not anymore. In search of a new elegance, men who have grown up with sneakers are wearing moccasins, which are more fashionable or classic, but worn in an unusual way.
“There’s a craze for the moccasin and we sold out in September. It’s a shoe that works all year round, with all the looks, functional and versatile,” Graziella Dubief, head of footwear buying at Galeries Lafayette in Paris, tells AFP. .
Pierre Hardy, shoe designer at Hermès and for his own brand, also notes a “visible increase” in demand for the two houses “since this season and in purchases for summer.”
After the arrest, “there was a fatigue of comfort at any cost. We are allowed to go out and we want more elegant, more stylish things,” he explains to AFP.
The situation is the same in London.
Browns buyer Thom Scherdel says among customers, “There are fewer and fewer sneakers on the catwalks,” and “we’re clearly seeing a shift from trendy sneakers to more formal shoes.”
“We have reached the escalation of sneakers,” Sciences Po lecturer Serge Carreira notes, quoting couturier Paul Poiret: “Any excess in fashion is a sign of the end.”
“Every mode has a boomerang effect,” emphasizes AFP Olivier Saillard, fashion historian and artistic director of French luxury moccasin maker JM Weston. Sports shoes, “in every situation, at every age, put the shadow shoes that give the basis to the man”.
Thirty-year-old star designer Jacquemus, despite his high-profile sneaker collaboration with Nike, wore black loafers like men’s models at a show in December.
In front of his shoe fitting room in Montmartre, 32-year-old architect Romain Costa is spoiled for choice: thick-soled, elegant and colorful leather or suede black moccasins with tassels…
He dons a pair of tricolors before hopping on his bike with baggy jeans and an architecturally voluminous black sweater.
He associates sneakers with skateboarding moments as a teenager, and rarely wears them to “break up a really cool outfit.”
“I like wearing grown-up shoes. In my job, it’s reassuring,” she says, adding that they “age better” than sneakers.
For Olivier Saillard, the young people who buy Westons are also looking for “value”: the house is one of the few in France that continues to manufacture everything in its factory in Limoges, and commits to restoring them for life.
He introduced the “more rock” triple single moccasin or 4/4 model of his “workwear” inspiration at Weston. But this is a classic moccasin from 1946, christened “180”, the best of the number of handles to achieve this. Black.
“You can be stylish with a classic moccasin, just wear it with some loose pants, jeans, overalls,” she says.
Another trick to increase the fashion quotient: “unrelated” socks, with black and white or large and textured loafers … Or jogging to be more daring.
Despite everything, opinions remain mixed, with some finding that the shoe still carries a conservative image.
Pierre Hardy, who is pleased to see the return of the shoe that evoked the “buzz”, “new wave” or even rebellion symbolized by the Beatles or Michael Jackson in his teenage years, admits that it is not the sexiest shoe.
“There’s never a moccasin at an Hermes show,” where he’s worked with stylist Véronique Nichanian for more than 30 years for an “alluring” men’s silhouette.
At one point, “it really was BCBG, a right-wing, reactionary shoe,” unconsciously referring to the image of “stuck-up smart,” “as opposed to basketball, which carries the message of the body: a guy who moves, sports, and isn’t afraid to wear white in the winter.”