With coronavirus restrictions having curtailed the majority of our social plans since last March, many are turning to flat footwear.
As a result, Meghan Markle’s beloved high street shoe brand has made the decision not to launch new heels for the first time ever.
Kurt Geiger – whose famous customers also include Kate Middleton, Emily Blunt and Angelina Jolie, among others – usually releases at least one new pair every season.
However, in their upcoming spring/summer collection they’ll be focusing on flats and trainers, which saw a spike in demand in 2020.
The British retailer told The Sunday Times that its unlikely pivot was a reflection of the “complete reversal” of trends during the past five years.
Last year, its online sales of heels fell by 18%, while there was simultaneously a 30% rise in shoppers desiring flats and trainers.
Alluding to the fact that three national lockdowns means many have been rarely leaving the house – with weddings, parties and the office also a distant memory – Rebecca Farrar-Hockley, Kurt Geiger’s creative director, said: “Dressing for special occasions, whether holidays or going out, has disappeared.
“We have sold far fewer heels and I suspect that’s true of all shoe retailers.”
Five years ago Kurt Geiger’s best-selling shoe was a pointed stiletto with a metallic four-inch heel – these days it is chunky white trainers with a rainbow rim, with sneakers now representing a third of its overall shoe sales.
Unsurprisingly, slipper sales have also soared of late, with many keen to keep their feet cosy at home during the current winter chill.
John Lewis reported this week that its own-brand sheepskin slippers had sold out, while those shopping for sheepskin slippers across its range had risen by 60%.
Katherine Hamilton, junior buyer of women’s shoes at John Lewis, told The Daily Telegraph that the demand had been “overwhelming”.