Meet Fashion’s New Shoe

Call it a sloafer, a snoafer, a leaker, or a loaker but Cottweiler’s latest team-up with Reebok, revealed last night at the brand’s Autumn/Winter 2019 show, is the new shoe we’re all going to be going crazy about in the not too distant future (backstage after the show and the cooing had already begun). 

Details of the Cottweiler Fall/Winter 2019 show in London. Photos by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION.

A loafer but a sneaker (hence the name suggestions above), it moves on from fashion’s lengthy preoccupation with sportswear’s trophy trainers to create something smarter, more put-together in appearance – the loafer of course is a shoe which is similar in look to the moccasin – and less awkward, massive, and aggressive as have been so many trainer designs of late. These would look great, for example, with tailoring, laidback and cool, not Eighties dad vibes. 

“It’s something we’ve really wanted to do for a while; it’s something we really love,” said the boys, Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty, backstage. Reebok, with whom they have already created in the past – notably in 2017 during Pitti Uomo – provided them with their trainer technology and the boys came up with the idea: to take a trainer and do something new. Finally! It’s going to be a hit. 

The idea behind the collection – which took place 12 stories beneath ground level – was to, they said, “challenge masculinity.” Refining and sharpening up their sportswear tech, this lent itself to tennis-ready looks, a man walking his invisible dog; it was smart and focussed (call it the Hedi effect, perhaps) but with a seedier side at play too – per the moss-laden urinals that sat centre stage (splashing some unlucky front row recipients). 

Cottweiler Fall/Winter 2019 show in London. Photo by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION.

“Is it meant to be a cave or something?” asked one audience member among the backstage buzz afterwards. “No it’s really just a disused dark room at the back of a club,” said the designers. It didn’t necessarily bring anything more to the collection which spoke for itself in terms of execution – it’s clear to see why this pair has found themselves on the receiving end of a British Fashion Award emerging talent nomination, and why they were shortlisted as a semi-finalist for the LVMH prize in 2016. 

We wait in anticipation for those loafers to go on sale, though.