5 Footwear trends spotted at JATC Manchester
A total of 150 brands exhibited at the second edition of trade show Just Around the Corner’s (JATC) Manchester-based event, which ran from August 2 to 3. Its layout saw exhibitors placed in zones dedicated to their particular industry sector, including a new addition, The Edit, which focused on womenswear brands with a more premium price point.
Footwear and accessories, which were mostly placed in a section covering the first floor at the show’s entrance, included both independent brands and global retailers, some of which were planning on entering the UK market for the first time. Footwear trends varied across each label, with some styles part of dedicated shoe brands and others included among a clothing brand’s overall collection. For the upcoming spring/summer 2023, FashionUnited has outlined some of the notable footwear trends spotted at JATC Manchester below.
Bold, block coloured trainers
Colourful shoes were a particularly prominent part of many of the exhibitors' stands and in most cases outnumbered those of natural hues and whites. This was specifically true for trainer styles and casual footwear, which saw many brands opt for bold tones in block colours, likely drawing inspiration from retro trainer designs. While most styles were slim, sleek silhouettes, some brands steered towards chunkier shapes and platformed soles, in keeping with younger shoppers’ interest in oversized footwear.
This tendency to stick to chunky silhouettes ran true for a selection of SS23 sandal styles. A wide number of womenswear sandals implemented dramatic platformed soles into the design, which utilised various materials like wood, cork or rubber. While some focused on the bottom of the shoe, others also sized up the top, adding oversized buckles and wide-set strap designs. This trend was mostly adopted by exhibitors that centred their stock around women’s footwear, placing the style among similarly chunky footwear, such as ankle boots and sneakers.
Loafers played a big part in both women’s and men’s footwear trends for this season, and while some stuck to more traditional design styles, others opted for modern twists on the classic silhouette. A number of brands adapted the style through the use of elevated soles, giving the design a contemporary look, while others added flashy embellishments, such as an oversized chain or cut out eyelets. Other variations saw the loafer stick closely to its origins, with references to vintage shoe styles present through the use of buckles and leather-look tassels.
Patterned sandals offered up a colourful take on summer footwear, and were seen in everything from flip flops to fasten-ups to sliders. This style was particularly popular among sustainable brands at the show, which had each looked to new ways of creating attractive yet ethically-made sandals. One notable addition was a collection of sliders made by the brand Freedom Moses, which was represented by Self Service. The label’s vegan shoes each featured bold colours and prints and were made with the intention of using less materials. A special feature was that they had the light scent of milk and honey.
In keeping with the trend of colourful footwear, another bold SS trend was that of printed and patterned sneakers. Most of the styles available were in simple silhouettes, often lined with white soles and toe caps as well as white laces. For men, these styles stuck to subtle colour schemes, like forest green or dark blues, and also utilised prints like camo. Meanwhile, for women, patterns revolved around floral and geometric prints and varied more drastically in colour choices.