Glossy – When Bill White founded Scarpe di Bianco in 2009, a brand that makes small batch, handmade Italian leather shoes, “comfort was a four-letter word” in the luxury shoe industry, he said. The idea of a comfortable dress shoe was oxymoronic in a category that valued traditional, albeit stiff, leather construction. But like many in the high-end fashion industry, Scarpe di Bianco has experienced an increasing trend toward all things comfortable, casual and sporty.
“Fashion trends continue to evolve, and one of the most recent growing trends is the casualization of the business work environment,” said David Naumann, vp of marketing for BRP, retail consulting firm. “Ties are long gone, and suits are dying. The new norm for men’s business footwear is sneakers, and dress shoes are becoming a rarity. Selling more casual products is now a necessity for high-end brands.”