Designers have never been afraid of translating men’s styles and redefining the look for womenswear. This is currently being seen within the shoe category; most notably oxfords.
Oxford shoes first originated in Scotland and Ireland, eventually taking its name from Oxford University. First appearing in the United States in the 1800s, the style was predominantly worn by men. Women began to adapt the style in the 1920s with a slight heel that could be worn for dancing.
Since then, this trend has taken off immensely, with celebrities like Alexa Chung and the Olsen twins wearing the menswear inspired shoe. American Apparel also promotes the trend, often styling it in a unisex manner and coordinating the shoe with funky socks. Typically seen in neutrals and made out of leather or patent leather, the trend has modernized once again within the past year.
Designer brands such as Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, and Stella McCartney have created oxfords with special twists that evoke a more youthful, fun, and feminine energy. Balenciaga has added an ankle strap with gold hardware which adds a bit of glam to the otherwise subtle design. Louis Vuitton has reinvented the loafer style with a vibrant color palette of crisp white and light pink. The perforation detail and front tassel make the shoe style accessible for work and play. Stella McCartney has definitely catered to the younger generation by designing an oxford with a high platform and cut out details. The shoe is a perfect summer staple that adds a unique touch to the most simplistic outfit.
Illustrations courtesy of Ksenia Rybe, who creatively showcases the aforementioned designer shoes.