This Thursday, Saks Fifth Avenue will open 10022-Shoe, a new stand-alone shop in Greenwich, CT—a 14,000-square-foot space entirely devoted to— yes!—shoes. With the runways full of statement options from lace-up flats to peep-toe booties, the only hard part will be deciding which trend to try on first. Roopal Patel, Saks Fifth Avenue’s Senior Vice President & Fashion Director, spoke to Serendipity about the must-haves of the season, what outfits to pair your new shoes with, and why sneakers are still super-chic, day or night.
What fall trends are you most excited about?
It’s a very decadent, ornamented and rich season! Velvet was a big callout and we saw a lot of military influences marching down the runway as well. The Gianvito Rossi velvet and satin peep-toe booties actually have gold buttons and red snap closures, so it’s two trends in one. We [see] a return to grunge goth and dark romanticism, which came through in incredible combat boots at Valentino, Rag & Bone and Chanel. There was also a lot of pearl ornamentation, and one of our favorites is a pearl encrusted Mary Jane from Gucci. It’s very fresh and modern. And I’d be remiss not to mention loafers and brocade slippers—they continue to trend with Gucci being the leader in bringing back that iconic loafer.
What outfits would you pair with these?
There’s no shortage of great fashion this season to pair your shoes with. I love the idea of velvet booties with jeans and a military jacket. Combat boots alongside leather jackets and full skirts look very fresh and directional, and it’s just as easy to wear them with an oversized sweater, skirts and tights on the weekend. For embellished Mary Janes, I’d wear those with this season’s velvet dresses from Phillip Lim or Etro. And a traditional classic loafer will go well with tailored jackets and pants from Michael Kors or Cucinelli.
When you get dressed in the morning, what comes first for you: choosing the outfit or the shoe?
I think it’s a whole look honestly. I’m someone who wakes up every day and says, ‘What’s my mood for the day? Lately, I’m really into goth glam—a lot of the things you’ll see on the it-list for Saks Fifth Avenue, I will personally be embracing in my wardrobe.”
What’s the trick to styling an outfit well?
It’s about individuality and really creating your own signature sense of style. I think there are no rules. For example, sneakers are no longer just meant for the gym. Designers have really stepped up their game on so many levels for creating eye-catching sneakers that can be worn to the office and with much more dressed up looks. In fact, I think crisp white sneakers can look more glamorous than some of the day shoes out there.
Which designers do the best sneakers?
Céline has fun sneakers, Givenchy always has a fun piping, and Fendi does great animation with their sneakers. You can really coordinate them with your outfits.
What up-and-coming shoe designers should we watch out for?
We’re super excited about Paul Andrew; he’s just won the CFDA award for accessories and is such a rising star and talent. I think Tabitha Simmons continues to lead this cool girl vibe: she’s a bit more quirky and eccentric. I always love her take on flat Chelsea boots and I also love her Mary Janes. Aquazurra has no shortage of great fashion shoes for day or evening—[designer Edgardo Osorio’s] sense of color is absolutely incredible.
How many shoes do you have?
I don’t really count my shoes! But I really do love statement shoes so those tend to be in my closet.
What’s your most memorable pair?
My first pair of Manolo Blahniks. I bought them years and years ago, in my early 20s. When I met Mr. Blahnik for the first time I told him the story of saving up to buy this pair. They’re black slingbacks and I still have them! I think having your first pair of Manolos is a rite of passage.