Dune is betting on a high heels revival from April
Dune London said it's continuing to back high heels as a key item once the UK lockdown starts to ease, even though the trend has been towards flats not just in the past year but before that.
The footwear and accessories specialist said it's undeniable that “a year of the pandemic has reduced our appetite for high heels and dressier styles in favour of flats, trainers, and slippers”.
But from next month, it will add a range of occasion shoes to its current more casual mix, although it won't be as big a range as usual. That said, it’s not moving away from casual completely and the SS21 collection features a broad range of casual and trend-led pieces, such as last summer’s sell-out ‘dad sandal’ Lockstock, which has already sold out of its first summer drop.
Global Buying Director Debra Bloom said: “I think most retailers are going with an ‘only flat and trainers push’, but we will stay true to our heritage and continue to offer a special collection of heels for summer. We have a range of occasion shoes going from April onwards. It is a smaller mix than normal, but we saw demand even through lockdown 2020 for special shoes. We want to get people excited to get dressed up again.”
Footwear has been a tough category to sell during assorted lockdowns and with major restrictions on social life even when consumers were allowed out. Occasion-based footwear has been particularly problematic, struggling along with other fashion categories such as partywear and suits.
But with plenty of news reports about UK consumers having saved an unprecedented large amount of money over the past year, there are widespread hopes that pent-up demand will be released. From April, consumers will be able to socialise to a certain extent. Further restrictions on indoor socialising will be eased in May, and by late June, bigger events will be back on the agenda, including weddings, just in time for the height of the wedding season.
From that viewpoint, it looks like a sensible decision for the company to offer a dressier range of shoes, even though the trend was heading away from higher heels even before the onset of the pandemic early last year.
Bloom added: “We all know that heels are a huge part of looking and feeling good. Once we’re feeling the benefits of the vaccine and lockdown is over, [we think] everyone is going to want to go out to events and parties and get dressed up again.”
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