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The New Statement Shoe: Reimagining Designer Footwear

BoF’s guide to the designer shoe universe, examining the current and future competitive landscape, trends and high-net-worth consumer behaviour through proprietary surveys and expert interviews. 

Designer shoes are entering a new era of creativity and growth. From the rise of streetwear  — and the elevation of the sneaker into a status symbol — to the impact of the pandemic on lifestyles and socialising, consumers today are looking for both comfort and reinvention when shopping for designer footwear. In "The New Statement Shoe: Reimagining Designer Footwear," BoF Insights explores these shifting consumer dynamics and assesses how brands are responding. What is clear is that demand for high-end footwear is growing even amid intensifying competition, with the category expected to grow to $40 billion by 2027 from $31 billion today.

The report contains executive perspectives on shifting assortment dynamics, pricing strategy, collaborations and creative development, along with market sizing data from Euromonitor International, style assortment and runway data from Edited and Tagwalk, and new proprietary insights from high-net-worth consumers in the US, UK and China provided in partnership with luxury research firm Altiant.

Length: 108 pages
File Format: PDF

Table of Contents

  • Ranking of Sales Contributions by Shoes for Major Designer Brands
  • Comparison of Brand Value of Shoes to Bags and Small Leather Goods
  • Five Forces Shaping Designer Shoes Post-Pandemic
  • Timeline of Key Shifts in Designer Shoe Landscape
  • Case Study: Gucci and Loewe Shoes Alter Brand Image
  • Case Study: Gucci Shoe Sales vs. Other Categories
  • Global Category Growth to 2027
  • Category Market Share for US, UK and China to 2027
  • Growth Drivers for US, UK and China
  • Women and Men’s Growth to 2027 for US, UK and China
  • HNWI Ownership of Designer Shoes for US, UK and China
  • Complexity of Making and Selling Shoes
  • Case Study: Variations Required for Shoe Buy
  • Competitive Landscape: Apparel Companies, Footwear Specialists and Leather Goods Companies
  • Case Study: Ferragamo Expands Beyond Shoes
  • Competitive Landscape: Brand Mapping
  • Balancing Core vs. Novelty
  • Case Study: Amina Muaddi’s Identifiable Features and Viral Moments
  • Specialist to Multi-Category to Style Maturity Pipeline
  • Sneakers Have Entered the Core
  • Case Study: Balenciaga Triple S Sneakers
  • Engagement of HNWIs with Designer Shoes
  • Intent of HNWIs to Increase Spend Across Fashion Categories
  • Ranking of Importance of Fashion Categories by HNWIs
  • In-Store vs. Online Shopping Preferences Across Categories 
  • Shoes as Percentage of Total Fashion Budget for US, UK and China HNWIs
  • Preferred Brands for US, UK and China HNWIs
  • Quantity of Annual Purchases for HNWI Women vs. Men 
  • Intent to Purchase for Different Shoe Styles for HNWI Women vs. Men
  • Average Spend on Special Occasion Shoes by HNWIs for US, UK and China
  • Average Spend on Everyday Shoes by HNWIs for US, UK and China
  • Reasons for Initiating Shopping Journeys of HNWIs
  • Impact of Covid-19 on Shoe Preferences
  • Key Desired Traits for Everyday Use vs. Special Occasion Shoes
  • Key Desired Stylistic Descriptors for Everyday Use vs. Special Occasion Shoes
  • Geographic Differences for US, UK and China on Desired Traits
  • Motivations of HNWIs for Buying Shoes Secondhand
  • HNWI Reactions to Collaborations and Impact on Brand Image
  • Recent Designer Collaborations with Sportswear and Comfort Shoe Brands
  • Case Study: Birkenstock’s Collaborations Parlay the Brand into Designer Status
  • In-Stock Trend Changes for Women
  • In-Stock Trend Changes for Men
  • Colour Assortment of In-Stock Options
  • Changes in Global Runway Styles and Features over Past Seasons
  • In-Stock SKU Levels Over Time
  • Women’s Assortment Breakdown for Key Designer Brands
  • Women’s Pricing Architecture for Key Designer Brands
  • Men’s Assortment Breakdown for Key Designer Brands
  • Change in In-stock Levels of Sneakers vs. Mules / Clogs and Sandals
  • Men’s Pricing Architecture for Key Designer Brands
  • Increased Pricing Pressure for Brands
  • Median Prices and Average Discounting 

Why Buy this Report

  • Analyses the global market for designer shoes (products defined as having a minimum retail price of $300)
  • Features proprietary research with high-net-worth consumers in the US, UK and China, revealing the most in-demand brands and styles, budget by demographic group, drivers of purchase decisions  and intent to spend on particular styles
  • Provides executive perspectives on the breadth of assortment, pricing strategy, creative development and collaborations between brands
  • Presents concise case studies on Amina Muaddi, Balenciaga, Birkenstock, Gucci, Loewe and Salvatore Ferragamo while exploring the complexity behind designing and manufacturing shoes in terms of SKUs and variations, plus the power of specialisation
  • Unpacks how the forces of casualisation and the acceleration of comfort-dressing are widening the definition of luxury for designer shoes and assesses how the consumer psyche post-pandemic has shifted towards more statement shoes

Research Inputs

  • Three panels conducted by Altiant LuxuryOpinions® on behalf of BoF Insights of HNWIs in the US, UK and China who each have investable assets with a median value of between $1.5 million and $2 million
  • 20 interviews with founders, CEOs and other senior executives from designer shoe brands, retailers, and consultants
  • Market sizing data from Euromonitor International, a global market research firm
  • Tracking of shoe styles and categories on the runway from 2019 to 2022 in New York, Milan, Paris and London, enabled by data from Tagwalk, a fashion runway search engine
  • An analysis of US in-stock options, styles and average unit prices of designer brands, enabled by data from Edited, a retail intelligence and AI-driven data insights company
  • In-person store audits and pulse interviews conducted at designer shoe brands and luxury retailers in the US and UK
  • Featured companies include but not limited to: Amina Muaddi, Balenciaga, Birkenstock, Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Dior, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Loewe, Mach & Mach, Manolo Blahnik, Nike, Prada, Stuart Weitzman, Tod’s, Valentino and Versace