2017 Trends – close focus


For the upcoming Autumn/Winter season, simple pumps with an ankle strap are set to be popular, according to WGSN (Worth Global Style network), which forecasts upcoming trends.

ysl ankle strap
This red patent leather shoe from Yves Saint Laurent keeps the theme of thin straps made from the same leather. It also plays with embellishment, with the huge red bow being the focal point of an otherwise very understated and simple shoe.


This pair of Nina Ricci pumps have a very odd closure, more often seen on functional but unfashionable vests or polar fleece jumpers. Ricci has, on more than one occasion, experimented with alternative closures for her ankle-strap pumps.  (see left)

The ankle-strap pump has remained largely unchanged in style from its first rise to popularity in the 1920’s. When hemlines rose in the Jazz Age, women’s shoes became a fashion statement. Most ankle strap pumps feature a thin strap made from the same leather as the body of the shoe. They are typically closed with a small metal buckle. This holds true from ballet flats to stilettos. The strap can be removable, and is sometimes made in a contrasting colour, but this is less common. Thicker straps are sometimes used, as are multi-layered wraparound straps. Ribbons are used occasionally.

Nina Ricci is one designer who challenges the norm – This gorgeous gem-encrusted pair from autumn 2015 are another take on the classic sihouette.




Ankle–strap pumps have remained popular throughout the 20th century, and remain so today. The appeal of them is likely tied to the fact that they are beautiful as well as functional. The strap makes it easier to ensure that the shoe stays on the foot while walking, making them much more comfortable.

Ankle straps are distinct from a Mary-Jane style in that the strap encircles the whole ankle, and is not partially attached to the forepart of the shoe. The pictures below demonstrate this difference.

This shoe from TopVintage is more of a Mary Jane style. The strap is higher than your average Mary Jane, but it is still not a true ankle-strap, because the strap is attached.
This pair from ZooShoo is more of a classic ankle-strap silhouette where the strap encircles the whole ankle.












In terms of construction, here is my interpretation of how the above ZooShoo Ankle strap would have been constructed.


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