You might be familiar with the Venetian slipper, the artisan-made velvet flats worn by gondoliers in Venice. And while the shoes have a historical past (they date back to the 19th century), this summer, they feel surprisingly fresh and modern. It might have something to do with fashion’s ongoing obsession with all things ballet and Mary Jane flats.
In the fall and spring, we saw leather Mary Jane flats on the runways from the likes of Bottega Veneta to Prada, and offerings from cult designers such as The Row, Khaite, and Alaia. For summer 2023, the shoe is being fashioned in felts, velvets, and sturdy cotton canvas. The look is one-part Mary Jane, one-part espadrille, and one-part Venetian slipper, and the shoe somehow feels simultaneously classic and of the moment.
I’ve seen them walking the Vogue offices, out and about in New York City, scrolling through my Instagram feed, and on a past holiday in Saint Tropez—all signs point to the style as a contender for the shoe of the summer. They’re flat and made from soft materials, meaning they will check the comfortable box. They’re also closed-toe, which bodes well for city streets or for those who want an alternative to a sandal. Best of all, they come in a variety of color combinations and fabric varieties at a price point averaging $100, adding a joyous dose of personality to your summertime look without a hefty price tag. Wear them to the grocery store, the beach, or at work, they’ll add a summer-ready look to just about any style or outfit this season, from prairie dresses to jean shorts.
This article was originally published on Vogue.com