MILAN — The conversation about outdoor-indoor and how the two can merge and trickle down into men’s wardrobes was strong at Milan Men’s Fashion Week for fall 2024. Accessories brands straddled both in their collections, befitting mountaintop hikes as well as corporate meetings.
The outdoorsy, town-and-country theme seen on the Milan runways infiltrated Church’s, too, where the new Lymington lace-up derby style was inspired by wintertime in the British countryside.
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The design was part of the Offtown collection crafted from full-grain nabuk leather, which lent to this new sturdy shoe a soft suede effect. Available in burnt or ebony hues, the style comes either with a black lug sole or with a lighter alternative featuring the brand’s logo.
At Santoni, the passion for the great outdoors echoed in the mountain-inspired lineup, an homage to the Sibillini Mountains in Italy’s Marche region where the footwear firm is based. Sturdy-looking hiking boots and the polished Andrea loafer with tassels were in fact buttery and soft, engineered to flex for enhanced comfort. A new lace-up ankle boot crafted from suede was treated to highlight different brown shades and achieve a sophisticated worn-in feel. This was an evolution from the core traditional and formal footwear designs the brand is known for, as exemplified by a plush, low-top, tennis-inspired sneaker in shaved shearling. The shoe lineup was flanked by leather goods and accessories, including a weekend bag and backpack where shades are created by hand on the hide. The category is proving a business boon, said Santoni’s executive chairman Giuseppe Santoni.
In keeping with its ambition to build on icons and cater to luxury consumers on the run, Valextra updated some of its signature designs, including the Milano tote bag, crafted in a new, softer and deconstructed rendition of its Millepunte textured leather, in addition to furthering its focus on office-ready leather goods, such as the Premier briefcase. As it expands its horizons beyond statement bags, trying to court younger customers, it debuted a line of small leather goods and accessories, including bifold wallets, as well as pencil cases, pocket emptiers, diary cover wraps, watch cases, as well as a cocktail sets developed in partnership with Milan’s Bar Basso. “It’s a category I wanted to explore and that I think will be further developed in future seasons. I think there’s a niche there to explore, for gifting to and by sophisticated and exacting men who want to be surrounded by excellence,” said Xavier Rougeaux, Valextra’s chief executive officer.
Milan-based accessories brand Rubeus, founded by Russian designer Nataliya Bondarenko and her husband Viktor in 2013, hit Milan Men’s Fashion Week with its first men’s collection hinged on sleek and polished footwear and handbag designs, the latter crafted from calfskin, saffiano leather with nylon and recycled canvas details. Keeping businessmen and frequent travelers in mind, Rubeus offered computer bags and crossbody pouches, as well as weekender duffle bags and backpacks bearing the brand’s lion logo. In the footwear assortment manufactured using the Goodyear technique, hand-brushed and —painted loafers had a sleek worn-in effect, while the Luciano monk strap shoe came in calfskin as well as alligator.
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