The Dad Shoe is Back For Milan Men’s Digital Fashion Week

Stephanie Hirschmiller

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Hate it or love it, the “dad shoe” has made its return at Milan Men’s Digital Fashion Week.

With Gucci recalibrating its calendar and Miuccia Prada to share the spotlight with Raf Simons as of September, spring ’21 marks a season of transition for brands across the board.

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Rather than exploring new territory, designers opted for functionality with reassuringly safe bets and commercial classics they knew they could rely on in a difficult market. While the runways had begun to feature more dress shoes and hiker hybrids in recent seasons, the clunky, dorky “dad” has been a mainstay in the athletic and mass markets. Bottom line? Nothing says reliable like the dad shoe.

Here are five of the best from the virtual season — pick your favorite “dad”.

1. Gucci’s Logomania Dad

The Italian take on the dad shoe involves a logo and a sprinkling of Alessandro Michele magic that also manages to make grown men actually want a Donald Duck pendant. For this look he upped the anti style up a notch further with the addition of a geography teacher corduroy pant.

2. Zegna’s Techie Dad

The brand celebrates its 110th anniversary this year with innovation aplently. Loafers and sandals with chunky, rounded toes and air injected soles mirrored the new dropped shoulder silhouette of Alessandro Sartori’s ready-to-wear. The technical aspect of the footwear reflected in digital tie-dye prints.

3. Prada’s Aerodynamic Dad

Functionality was a watchword for Miuccia Prada’s last solo collection and formal classics — not least the square toe dad shoes — borrowed from the world of sportswear with Velcro snaps replacing traditional laces.

4. MSGM’s Sporty Dad

Massimo Giorgetti gave the dad sneaker a sleek, more streamlined overhaul but kept the soles reassuringly chunky and accents colorful.

5. Santoni’s Chic Dad

Even Italian’s gentleman’s classic Santoni did the dad silhouette for spring. Albeit in hand colored calfskin, with signature Trama intertwined motif recalling the texture of alligator. Colors such as ‘nerofumo’ and terra bruciata’ (translated as black smoke and scorched earth) conjured the landscape of Santoni heartland, Italy’s Marche region.


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