Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Aldo's stunning headquarters in Montreal for an immersive three-day experience focused entirely on shoes. Along with other editors from around the world, we had the pleasure of meeting the team that makes Aldo one of the top shoe brands in the world, including Daianara Amalfitano (pictured above at Aldo's NYFW dinner earlier this month), SVP of the Aldo brand. With over 20 years of experience in the shoe industry under her belt, I couldn't wait to ask her everything I (and you) have ever wanted to know about the number one shoe trend for fall (sock boots), the boot trend to skip this season (riding boots), and the most comfortable styles, the type of shoes that always look expensive, the shoe style that's the most aging, Aldo's newest releases, and much more.
Read on to find out everything you've been dying to know about shoes, straight from an industry expert herself.
WHO WHAT WEAR: What are the five shoe trends every woman should invest in for fall 2017? If you only buy one fall shoe trend, which should it be?
DAIANARA AMALFITANO: This fall, second-skin, sock-fit, and skin-tight boot silhouettes are the hottest silhouettes. Styles range from above the ankle to longline silhouettes that are thigh-high and extend over the knee. Standout pieces include Lovelyy and Lovee, with a love messaging on the top band, as well as Cirelle coming in green emerald later in the season.
Another key trend is embellishment—from bold shiny metallic finishes—think Cherina—to sequins, rhinestones, studs, and pearl accents, it's all about statement pieces. We have Luciaa, a stunning sandal that has a handmade treatment on the heel or embroidery motifs on Karyne.
We know our customers like to stand out and make bold choices, so we also played with slogans and empowering messages. Our fall collection features grunge punk-embellished combat and heeled lug sole boots (Glitterati) to iconic pumps and athletic footwear (Otting).
The new essentials are all about heel and height—block, circular, and teardrop heels in metallic or sparkled. They [can be] styled for a modern evening out or [for] daytime and deskside.
And color-wise, red is the must-have color for this fall. At Aldo, you'll find it in sexy satin-like fabrics, over-the-knee boots like Sailors, and our iconic Stessy pump—with a special rainbow outsole.
If I could only buy one shoe trend, it would be the sock boot and especially Cirelle in green emerald.
WWW: Which shoe trend do you think is on its way out?
DA: The riding boot, but fashion is an endless beginning. It might come back again.
WWW: What's the shoe style that looks the most expensive, no matter what the price point?
DA: The classic but not boring stiletto pump. They are timeless and elevate any look.
WWW: Is there a particular shoe style that you think makes women look older? Alternatively, what's one that can take years off of a look?
DA: It is a bit subjective, but I think block-heel pumps make women look older while stilettos take years off a look.
WWW: Which Aldo shoes will never go out of style?
DA: With no hesitation, our iconic Stessy pumps, [which] we are reinventing every season with new colors and fun details, like an embossed heart on the outsole or a velvet-inspired upper and embroidery print. They are glamorous, sexy, and surprisingly versatile all at once. They're a closet staple.
WWW: What's the most comfortable pair of Aldo heels?
DA: I've seen so many positive comments on Fiolla. Many customers are looking to purchase all colors. These are the perfect sandals for a wedding ceremony or event, and they come in a range of colors and treatments like black and pastel, as well as crazy faux-fur and glitter ornaments, depending on how playful you want to be.
WWW: The sneaker market is so saturated these days. What is it that makes the new Mx. stand out from the pack?
DA: Through our recent research, we have learned that fashion athletic is one of the most popular categories within our customer expectations. There is a true appeal for an elevated design with unique details and a variety of colors at an affordable price. However, what makes this collection powerful is the concept behind Aldo Mx. We created this unisex collection to highlight togetherness and speak to all as one. They are the reflection of our company's values and foundation of love and respect, regardless of people's race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identification. The social media response has been incredible and encourages us to push this collection forward. Stay tuned!
WWW: Which Aldo shoe do you see people wearing the most around your headquarters lately?
DA: You can use the headquarters as a trendsetting center. I clearly noticed two pairs of shoes: Aldo Mx. sneakers and Dorriety, a pair of elevated mules covered in faux fur on the top, which come in black and rose. They go with any outfit. I like this question, as I feel our work is accomplished when I see our associates standing out with their new pair of shoes. After all, they are our first ambassadors.
Shop Aldo Favorites:
These classic pumps are a best seller.
These unisex sneakers are ridiculously comfortable.
We're not surprised that these are a favorite in Aldo's headquarters.
These statements heels are guaranteed to instantly dress up any outfit.
It doesn't get more on trend that red sock boots this fall.
Fancy flats are perfect with jeans and cozy sweaters.
White is the color to be seen in this season.
This press trip was sponsored by Aldo. Editors' opinions are their own.
Opening image: BFA