Finally as the year 2011 comes to an end, it is worth having a look at the fashion trends that prevailed throughout the year. As far as popular footwear is concerned, 2011 surely belonged to ‘riding boots’ and ‘smoking slippers’. Most retailers would confirm the news: a report published on December 27th, in WWD has important retailers like Zappos.com, Chinese Laundry, and Piperlime discussing the challenges, trends, and popular styles of the year 2011.

Charlotte Olympia claimed “super high heels” to be its most successful category, while Zappos.com emphasized the importance of practicality: Zappos.com’s CEO, Hsiesh, told the publication that brands specializing in attire like Hunter Boots, Frye, and Ugg, continued to do well.

According to the designer, Stuart Weitzman, the biggest challenge of the year was to find enough quality leather to keep up with the demand. According to him, the most successful footwear of the year were ‘flats’. Flats were hot in demand, according to Weitzman.

We’d probably see ‘flats’ being used more often in the coming fashion events.

Jennifer Gosselin, the GM and VP of Piperlime.com said that the customers responded well to prevailing trends and fashions in 2011; they were willing to spend over quality products.It shows how fashion consciousness is no longer restricted to fashion events or fashion shows, only. Moreover, she said that the most successful footwear trend of the year contains wedge heels across a wide variety of silhouettes, and the old good,ridings boots. The prediction for 2012 is more colorful footwear. Gosselin insists that colorful footwear is more emotionally gratifying for the customers, and that we the customers should expect a lot more colorful products in the market, in 2012. Thus, we could also expect to see more colorful fashion wear, in the coming fashion shows.

According to the Chinese Laundry, the year 2011 was particularly challenging. However, they claim to have done well as they’d expanded their international business. The market share for all their brands has increased, which means that they’d have a profitable year. Additionally they’d managed to hire Kristin Cavallari as their spokesperson; a move that has apparently paid dividends. According to the company, their biggest challenge of the year was to understand the needs and demand of the customers. They decided to stay niche-oriented, andkeptfewer inventories, which worked well for them.

Talking about the trends of 2011, their CEO, Bob Goldman said: “It was probably flat boots or riding boots and pumps. I think the consumer was really looking at what had multiple uses,” explained the brand’s CEO Bob Goldman.The company has its worked cut-out for the next year as they look for celebrities that relate to their style and profile. They will expand retail, and they are hoping to open up more stores in key area and important regional malls. They’d also be expecting to make major headways in fashion news.

Scott Meden, the EVP and GMM, shoe division, presents a slightly different version. According to him, customers reacted very favorably to new fashion, in 2011. He told that the customers had been very excited about the products that the market had on offer for them. He believes that customers had been very well-informed in the year 2011, which meant that they had more choices. Most customers are regularly in touch with fashion news. Meden wants his company to react to this challenge by matching with the customer’s pace, no matter how they choose to shop.

According to him, Boots were the trendiest footwear of the year.

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