Casual footwear steps out

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Casual footwear steps out

A pair of great shoes, chosen to fit the times, completes the perfect look.
And the times, as they say, are a changin’.
The casual look is in. Sneakers are becoming fashion essentials.
Korean buyers are buying more youthful-looking footwear, according to Gian Piero Giovannetti, the founder and president of Giovannetti, a shoemaker based in Florence, Italy.
Mr. Giovannetti was in Seoul earlier this month to participate in a two-day event billed as “Shoes from Italy, Seoul.” Thirty Italian companies showed their 2003-2004 fall and winter collections at the Shilla Hotel.
This year, Giovannetti’s unisex sneakers sport contrasting primary colors. Its leather sneakers have metallic colors such as silver, bronze and gold.
Mr. Giovannetti said that his company’s sneakers with stars or stripes, or in red or blue ― designs with an American look ― are selling particularly well.
Valter Micheletti, who represents Martine Clay of Rome, says that women’s shoes are moving back to the 1940s and 1950s to match the latest runway styles.
“We’re using familiar patterns such as herringbone or faux crocodile print,” Mr. Micheletti said.
“They’re highly decorated with straps, buckles, grommets and wing-tips,” he said. “Compared with last season, the toes are shorter, but are still narrow, since pointy shoes are still considered sexy and appealing.”
If you had difficulty walking on sky-high stilettos last season, you can relax this season. Most heels have been safely lowered to 7.6 centimeters (3 inches) or less.
What to wear with the latest trend, the miniskirt? “Thigh-high boots or medium-high boots that accentuate and flatter the legs,” Mr. Micheletti said.

by Ines Cho
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