Much like all of the other editors at Who What Wear, I’m always on the hunt for the newest and coolest brands to hit the fashion scene. I often invest in pieces from established brands, but increasingly I’ve been looking to younger designers and up-and-coming talents with new ideas to fill my closet.
In many ways, I can attribute this to Instagram and the exposure that rising talents have on the social media platform. An incredible tool for discovery, I frequently find myself learning about just-launched designers on the app. On Instagram, I’m exposed to fashion across the globe in an instant and can uncover exactly what all of the cool fashion girls are wearing at this very minute. And right now, there is a fresh new crop of shoe brands that are on my radar.
Whether it’s a newly launched brand like Amina Muaddi, which just came onto the fashion scene last month, or one like Area that has been around for years but only recently began producing footwear, there are some new shoes that are worth paying attention to right now. Ahead, see the best new shoe brands I recently discovered and plan on adding to my closet.
Launched just last month, Amina Muaddi is one of the most buzzed-about new shoe designers of the moment. While she also designs footwear for French couturier Alexandre Vauthier, she recently debuted her own namesake label. What you'll find are silhouettes that feel modern and cool with details like crystal trim, glitter finish, and architectural heels.
Intrigued by her debut collection—stocked with elaborate ruffled heels crafted from PVC and covered in polka dots—I asked designer Ada Kokosar to weigh in.
She told Who What Wear: “For my first Midnight 00 collection I was inspired by my eternal muses, Cinderella and Marie Antoinette. Their glamour and playfulness perfectly encapsulate the dreamlike vision of midnight: an endless moment shaped by fantasy and childlike dreams where creativity and imagination flourish. This innocence of night as a child’s fairytale is juxtaposed with a new and fun side that transforms every shoe into a modern, party-proof glass slipper that comes into its own at midnight—creating timeless and of-the-moment magic.”
Area has been around since 2013 but the brand recently launched footwear for its S/S 18 collection. Like its clothes, the shoes are similarly infused with lots of glamour of luxe finishes like fluid lurex and opulent crystals.
I asked Area’s creative directors Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk to share more about the brand, who explained that “Area is the downtown fantasy of an uptown brand.” It’s a quality that you can instantly grasp when looking at their recognizable pieces. When it comes to footwear, they describe as their iconic “crystal fringe line: mules and pumps dripping in delicate crystal chain.”