Did Olivia Palermo just make Monk-strap shoes cool again?
If you’re wondering how I landed here, it’s because of Olivia Palermo. Most people are dressing for now, but Olivia Palermo is already dressed for 2020. I’ve never met her, but I get the feeling she glides down the street, not walks. She’s self-assured and carries with her a confidence that’s admirable. More importantly, as someone who sits near the top of the fashion hierarchy, she follows her gut and keeps her personal style personal.
When she wears something, her persuasiveness as a fashion influencer has designers turning on their heels to create the next ‘It’ thing. Call it an inkling, but my money is on the classic Monk-strap as being the shoes you’ll be wearing in six months (unless you’re Olivia Palermo, in which case you’re already there).
It used to be the case that women's flat shoes fell into two unexciting categories: ballet flats and lumpy loafers. But since flats became the favourite of the fashion elite, they've evolved massively in both form and function. And to rob a phrase from the original Man Repeller, I can’t turn a digital corner without seeing a pair of Monk strap shoes holstered on the feet of an editor at fashion week somewhere.
Monk straps were first introduced in the fields of Europe in the 15th Century and has since evolved to be a classic, functional choice for women and men. The style is creeping it’s way into the mainstream, but that doesn’t mean it will be here and gone in a matter of weeks. Usually one ditches a trend as soon as it stops feeling modern, but a Monk-strap is a powerfully classic style that can never, ever be distasteful. I guess the anthesis to my thesis is that Palermo isn’t making Monk straps cool again, but reminding us why timeless pieces never go stale. She’s cheering us on from the sidelines to look beyond trends that come and go.
Monk-strap’s for women are still a work-in-progress for many design houses, which is why I can’t find too many good examples of them that are up and out for the taking. But the selection I did curate are the highest quality, hand-made brogues on the market right now. These shoes are a riot of colour and texture. What's not to love?