Shoe Brands at FFANY and FSNYE Shows Highlight a Positive Trajectory for Spring 2025

More from Footwear News

The atmosphere was generally upbeat among retailers and brands during the FFANY footwear market week in New York City.

Matt Priest, president and CEO of the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA), which hosts the seasonal FFANY trade show, said that while inflation and uneven consumer demand are not yet entirely in the rear view, brands and retailers appeared to display “more optimism” than expected.

“It feels like 2019 again,” Priest said. “There’s predictability. The consumer is buying. There are still some pockets of weakness, but there are always pockets of weakness. There are some really strategic pockets of strength.”

Baby shoe brand Robeez made its return to FFANY after not attending for several years. According to Jennie Leone, the brand’s director of sales, it was important for Robeez to re-establish its presence in the market.

“We’ve been with a lot of our retailers for many years and when we travel to the accounts, they don’t get to see everything,” Leone said. “We definitely have our footprint in the market. And to not be at FFANY didn’t make sense to me.”

At the Footwear Show New York Expo (FSNYE), president Phyllis Rein noted that her show this week, which featured 80 shoe brands, saw a 20 percent increase in retailer attendance compared with the December 2023 edition.

“Nordstrom, Belk, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Von Maur, Famous Footwear, Anthropologie, TJX and Gwynn’s were a few of the many retailers that shopped at the Park Lane New York,” Rein told FN.

Rein also noted that sustainable footwear was high in demand this season. Retailers were gravitating to products and elements that were “planet friendly.” Trending styles at FSNYE were sneakers and athleisure as “comfort remains king,” she added.

Here, FN talked to brands on the ground at the shows about what’s working, what they are excited about and what to expect next spring.


Toms chief executive officer Magnus Wedhammar told FN that the brand is benefiting from a “pendulum swing” back from clunky, oversized silhouettes to more understated, dress casual looks.

Overall, Toms’ sales for spring 2025 were up double digits compared to the prior year, said Jim Kennedy, Toms’ VP of sales in the Americas. And the dress casual category, in particular, was up over 70 percent from the prior year. Part of this success is owed to consumers looking to wear their shoes on more occasions.

“We’re stretching things over more seasons,” said Amy Smith, Toms’ chief brand and impact officer. “She wants a high quality new product, but doesn’t always have enough to buy all the things in a regular season. Consumer behavior has really evolved a lot and I think dress casual is a piece of that.”

Western Chief (Washington Shoe Company)

The cowboy boot trend is still driving business for the Western Chief, the Washington Shoe Company owned outdoor brand. According to Sara Kimball, creative director of Western Chief, the brand is leaning into rubber rain boots with a western look for women and kids.

“You can still get the same aesthetic and do Western here and it’s something that’s easy to clean or hose off,” she said.

Hey Dude

ss25 Wendy Comf
Hey Dude’s “Wendy Comf” chunky style

“Newness is working,” said Kelly Cortina, Hey Dude’s chief product and merchandising officer. “Consumers are responding to fresh and inspirational drops, especially with the continued macro headwinds in the market that are tightening up spend.”

She added that consumers are also responding well to “timeless classic silhouettes like loafers and boat shoes.” This has meant positive effects for Hey Dude’s Wendy and Wally slip-ons.

“With trends continuing to support stylish comfort in timeless silhouettes, Hey Dude will continue to find fun and inspirational applications to our iconic silhouettes so the consumer will have many options for their outfit choices,” Cortina said. In the fall, Hey Dude will launch the “Wendy and Wally Comf,” a comfort-focused upgrade to these core silhouettes.

Black Suede Studio

Black Suede Studio, FFANY
Black Suede Studio’s latest collection.

Montreal-based Black Suede Studio was back in New York this season showing out of the Langham hotel.

Founder Kris Avakian noted how much the brand as expanded in recent seasons, pointing to a new accessories range including belts and jewelry. “We also recently launched bridal, which is performing well and I’m working on a couple of exciting collaborations that will come up soon,” he noted.

Still, the collection, which is known for polished designs, is sticking with a trend-right assortment of slingbacks, mules and pumps for spring 2025.


Florsheim president Kevin Schiff noted that retailers are “leaning into” drivers lately. “We’ve been getting a lot of orders for our driving shoe offering as of late, and retailers continue to respond to our hybrid dress shoes with the white soles,” he said.

The exec also noted that new this season are shoes with a slip-in technology and a new boat shoe offering as the trend gains traction.

YY Nation

YY Nation, FFANY
YY Nation’s new hemp sneaker.

YY Nation founder and managing director Jeremy Bank is very optimistic about his sustainable shoe brand’s growth.

“This year we will most likely be up over 400 percent from last year as more retailers seek out our product innovation,” Bank told FN. “We’re doing a lot of repeat business with small independent stores, surf shops that are looking for planet-friendly footwear and retailers like Paragon Sports here in New York.

New for this season is a sneaker with a upper made of hemp. Banks noted that the shoe will launch in a “major way” with Zumiez this year at a great retail price point of $88.


For sustainable sandal brand Amanu, growth is top of mind.. In April, the brand expanded its offering outside of sandals into luxury accessories, for instance.

“As a seasonal brand, you have a lot of ups and downs in the market, and that is something that you have to navigate. But, with the introduction of some new categories [such as handbags], they’re really integrated with very distinct point of view,” explained CEO Catherine Leavitt.  “As a small brand that’s growing, you have to be so intentional. We are not fast fashion. We are not trying to churn and burn product. It’s not about flooding the marketplace with product, it’s thinking about how do we do it in such a thoughtful manner.”

While Amanu is leaning into wholesale (the brand is currently stocked at Net-a-Porter, GOOP, Shopbop, Moda Operandi and additional specialty stores), founder Anita Patrickson added that they are focused on their own channels as well. She said, “We are making sure that we’re navigating our own terms. It’s just really important to be able to control your own narrative.”

With contributions from Nikara Johns.

Best of Footwear News

Sign up for FN's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.