Milan Fashion Week is a wrap, with both the city and the Italian fashion industry seeing a huge resurgence after several years of intense challenges. Here are key highlights from all the spring 2023 accessories presentations.
Sandra Choi has a big message: Never underestimate strong women. Inspired by fantasy figures of Manga and anime fiction, the new season at Jimmy Choo is all about exaggerated proportions. “The height is higher, the length is bolder,” the creative director said. Choi takes the diamond — a brand emblem — into new territory this season with the launch of the “Diamond” chain family. Fashioned in matte gold hardware, the chain plays a starring role in shoes, jewelry, bags and other accessories — taking different forms depending on the look. Denim, used creatively on both daytime and nighttime looks, evokes Y2K nostalgia.
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Bulgari introduced a new rigid structure to the Serpentine Top Handle bag, balancing a sculptural body with rounded contours with the supple lines of the snake body-shaped metallic top handle. The leather bag is available in a beautiful palette of pink quartz, opal and tourmaline. For a cuddly feel, the Rome-based brand also updated the Serpentine Pouch in a fluffy merino shearling, part of a circular recycling process. The bag is also available in a fun, multicolor version inspired by Bulgari’s gems, and debuting in a limited-edition exclusive to Milan and Paris, as a special tribute to the two fashion capitals.
Gianvito Rossi offers up his distinct take on summer festival footwear — centered around natural stone embellishments. Jades, opals, turquoise, amethyst and tiger adorn high gladiator sandals with a sharp stiletto heel. For those who might want to stay a little closer to the ground, the stones are also featured prominently on the block heels of Rossi’s metallic leather mules. Crystal chains serve as a bracelet for pointy-toe boots and booties in the part of the collection the designer refers to as his “Punkish” world. And in the “Party” portion of the collection, Iridescent leather bands in every color of the rainbow punch up gladiator sandals. Platforms, in bright hues and alluring color combinations, are key throughout the collection.
Giuseppe Zanotti, the veteran designer who spends a lot of time in his archives, gives his classic looks an update with a new pointy toe. Statement platforms are sky high. Jewelry shoes are abundant, with crystal-studded ankle straps shining bright on traditional silhouettes.
As Aquazzura marks its 10th anniversary, the brand is in a sweet spot amid the red carpet renaissance and the return to big parties. For spring, Edgardo Osorio offers up two new heels: a gold-plated metal look that amps up sandals, pumps and booties, and the graphic Bamboo, which is lacquered or galvanized. Rhinestones, floral and crystal chains elevate classic styles, while patent, raffia, iridescent lizard and python prints are some of the big material stories.
For her second Sergio Rossi collection, Evangelie Smyrniotaki once again started with the brand’s rich archive. Inspired by the models of the Y2K era, the designer unveiled a new stiletto, along with glitzy mules, and cage and gladiator sandals.
In a further push to rejuvenate its icons catering to a younger clientele, Valextra updated its hero “Iside” handbag with several new techniques showing off the brand’s craftsmanship. A cool version was entirely crafted from marble-looking resin that required the flap to be engineered for ease of use, while the “Wicker,” a made-to-order only version, nodded to the recent trend of basket bags, and was crafted from handwoven raffia. The bag’s signature twist lock was also updated and offered in semiprecious stones, marble terrazzo and colored Plexiglas.
The brand has always been focused on the future, from sustainability to digital innovation. And for spring 2023, Casadei is taking things to the next level with an NFT to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its well-known Blade heel. Call it Casadei 3.0. Each customer purchasing the NFT will be offered an avatar to play in metaverse platform Decentraland. They can also redeem a physical shoe (just 1,000 pairs are available) — a futuristic white pump that comes with an NFC tag embedded in the outsole. The Blade also continues to evolve IRL, with a blinged-out version with a transparent vinyl strap. An architectural heel in the collection is reminiscent of the curves of the famous chair by Danish designer Verner Panton.
Known for its glitzy and glamorous party shoes, René Caovilla is riding high on consumer demand for over-the-top looks. (Production must double to meet expected orders for spring 2023.) Its Studio 540-inspired collection features a new hero style, the Diamond Sandal. Its arty heel was inspired by the diamond-shaped crystals of Venetian chandeliers illuminating the Palazzo Ducale. The toe band and back straps are sprinkled with the brand’s signature crystals. The label also introduces an on-trend satin platform sandal with square toe.
On the heels of announcing Kim Kardashian as its new campaign star, Stuart Weitzman wants to make its fashion ambitions known. The brand returned to Milan with a collection that has new takes on its bestselling boots, high-impact platforms and sculptural heels. At the same time, it continues to focus on versatile styles that can be worn all day.
Serapian paid homage to Milanese icon Gabriella Crespi. To mark the 100th birthday of the artist and designer, known for creations spanning furniture, sculpture and jewelry, the Richemont Group-controlled brand unveiled a limited-edition capsule collection inspired by Crespi’s 1973 “Rising Sun” collection.
Including a bag and two clutch styles, the range combines brass elements with Serapian’s signature Mosaico technique and was presented in an arty installation in Serapian’s headquarters Villa Mozart next to a selection of Crespi’s work, which hailed from her private collection and was never before shown to the public.
Santoni’s iconic double buckle is the star of the season, turning into a gold or silver plate on calfskin loafers and an ornamental pattern on the sabot mule. The embellishment also shines on bright sandals in blue, green and yellow. The double-buckle sneaker conveys a more contemporary feel.
Long before the luxury sneaker craze took hold, Hogan was making high-end sneakers back in 1986. Decades later, the brand reinvents several of its most well-known designs for spring 2023. Tapping into fashion’s genderless movement, the brand bows the “H630” basketball-inspired low- and high-top kicks. A honey-color sole defines the silhouette. The H bag also gets a update in new colors and materials.
Furla introduced a crossbody clutch called the Metropolis Remix, a bow-shape bag fashioned in calf leather, as part of its new partnership with “She Is the Music,” a nonprofit founded by Alicia Keys to increase the number of women working in the music industry.
Innovative fabrics, over-the-top embellishments and extreme shapes define the AGL spring 2023 collection. From studs to crystals to leather flowers, accents are key. Bright hues, from red to hot pink to gold give the styles an extra pop.
As Rodo continues makes a comeback in the U.S. market, the brand is tapping into its archives for spring 2023. The mini bag, for example, is reinterpreted as a shoulder version for evening, with a jeweled chain. The details of the bag collection carry over into the shoes — with sandals and pumps embellished with gold, crystal and ruthenium. Leather platforms are trimmed with soft metallic tassels.
Already known for its comfort and breathability, Geox wants to capture more of the dress market. While it continues to have new sneakers in its collection, the brand is emphasizing its more elegant looks for spring 2023. Sandals, ballet flats, court shoes and loafers come in a variety of feminine colors. The outerwear offering includes colorful new trenchcoats and parkas.
Pollini’s archival models are revisited: the Cavaliere boot is decked out with fringes, and the cremino sole — a cornerstone of the Archive collection — is fashioned in a new sandal. For evening, prints and sequin embroideries embellish the iconic mules, new platforms and flat sandals.
As it prepares to mark 70 years in 2023, Fratelli Rossetti is emphasizing its artisanal, local craftsmanship (every shoe is made near Milan) and new eco-friendly styles. As part of its new “GreenSide” project, Fratelli Rossetti pushes sustainable design in its best-known look, the Brera loafer, which features a suede upper made from recycled materials.
The higher, the better. That seems to be the mantra at Le Silla, which showed big platforms, in patent and eco-friendly satin, as well as evening sandals embellished with flowers.
For its official debut at Milan Fashion Week, Boyy revisited some of its staple bags with a surrealist twist. Cue the label’s signature “Bobby Tourist” bag, imagined flipped on its side and reworked with the addition of an extra top handle to create a new, unexpected style, which was christened “Bad Tourist.”
A recurrent theme in the work of the brand’s cofounders Jesse Dorsey and Wannasiri Kongman, the symbolism of the hand was also explored in eye-catching clutch and boot, each gripped by gloved fingers detail.
In the expansive collection they conjured, the designers additionally developed a series of new small leather goods with slim, curving silhouettes and introduced new categories, including a pair of graphic sunglasses plated in 24-karat gold and with mirrored lenses.
Claude Monet’s impressionist paintings inspired Borsalino’s spring offering, filled with whimsical pieces, including the panama wide-brimmed hats in multicolor straw, providing a tartan effect to the sun-drenched, lemon-yellow style, bearing a leaf-shaped patch, handstitched as if it were DIY. A rafia sport visor trimmed in black ribbon was decorated with allover B motif, the hatmaker’s play on logoed accessories.
Leave it to Stefano Miele to inject playfulness into footwear. For spring 2023, the designer behind the Haus of Honey brand mixed references from the ’70s and ’90s, expanding the range of signature platform styles with new designs and materials. For the new “Connie” clog, he juxtaposed wood with candy-colored PVC, adding crystals on the sides for a sparkly touch. Patent leather and popping colors defined the “Lacquer Doll” towering platforms, evoking a retro vibe, while the “Wannabe” sandals in mirrored-effect calfskin and metallic hues were a go-to choice for the party animals who seek comfort, too.
In its arty showroom in central Milan, Bougette presented new renditions of its artisanal loafer staple, marked by the brand’s metallic bee logo. Additions to the offering spanned from heeled versions to mule styles, including an option in padded leather and punctuated by pearl-like embellishments. New color combinations were also displayed, such as a polished loafer in white and caramel hues that made for an instant classic.
At Borbonese Matteo Mena and Dorian Tarantini continued their exploration of the brand’s archive, channeling a road trip along the roads of the Californian desert. A handbag brand with strong heritage, their street-inflected bent echoed in the mini hobo bag known as “110” reissued in tandem with Swarovski and covered in crystals, or the “Domino,” a deconstructed hobo style embellished with a domino tile. Apparel complementing the accessory collection hinged on ‘80s archival suede pieces worked into slipdresses and pantsuits.