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Urban & streetwear trends for 2010 spring/summer season

Jul '09
As in every other industry, the companies in the urban and streetwear shoe segment are searching for solutions to the current economic crisis. Confronting consumers' palpable reluctance to buy with ever-lower prices is definitely the wrong way. Generally speaking, fashion trend developments are a bit more constrained than was previously the case. People are focusing on what was successful in previous seasons. This does not mean that shoe design is any less creative than it was, rather it demands a different, more ingenious and pragmatic type of creativity.

The Amsterdam-based agency Y Trends presents four trend themes for the 2010 Spring/Summer season: Classics & Crafts, Natural, Surreal and Architectural.

Classics & Crafts - The most common approach in reacting to the crisis lies in the return to the tried-and-true. Long-living, stable and rugged, handmade styles are found in this
theme. The simple reissue of retro styles is no longer interesting. A creative mixture of sneakers and Wallabee lace-up boots or desert and Dr. Martens boots finds its expression here. Old-fashioned styles such as "Grandpa lace-ups" or slippers will be combined with streetwear this season for the young, trendy crowd. You will also find sneakers with a hint of craftsmanship. Bold lasts and soles, natural leather and nailed or even tacked construction lend all styles — from workwear to pumps — the necessary touch of durability and functionality.

Natural - Although the manufacturers are probably investing less money in innovative, ecological technologies and materials for the production of their products due to the economic crisis, this remains a topic of discussion. Following the trend toward craftsmanship, natural materials such as organically tanned or so-called vegan leathers with an authentic hand, hemp and latex are noticeably present in the summery styles.

Surreal - Fully contrary to the return to the tried-and-true, this theme displays a different way of dealing with the crisis: offbeat, colourful designs come to the fore. This theme features seemingly surrealistic, almost grotesque styles; most of them pumps. They come in a multitude of acrid colours and are adorned with ample and conspicuous decoration. Sneakers appear in an overdose of colour. Contrary to previous seasons, however, the focus is not so much on shrill neon shades, but leans more toward absurd, clown-like colour combinations. Especially popular: the so-called "fake look", where Trompe L'oeil prints and graphics create the optical illusion of shadows or objects.

Architectural - Contrary to popular belief, there is true innovation to be found in the designs inspired by art and architecture, in which form and proportion are newly considered. True to the creed of creating something consistent and enduring, the styles are clean and geometric. Unnecessary details are intentionally left out. The result is reduced, angular forms for leather uppers and especially heels that become small sculptures.

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