Used to be that you only found Bit loafers from the top Italian designer brands, think Gucci, Ferragamo and Prada. But 2019 brought to you a whole wave of makers coming out with their own version of the classic Bit Loafer model. As the saying goes, style always reinvents itself and as of late, it has done so with this love/hate model. The reason I say love/hate model as I really think that when it comes to metal bars on vamps, it is a love/hate type of thing. I have never heard anyone be indifferent to the bit loafer. It’s either, ‘Ah, I love those’ or ‘no, I don’t like bit loafers at all.’ It’s not like a cap toe, where you say, ‘eh, it’s okay, but I prefer others.’ But, as more and more people start to offer them, and put their twist on the design, you just might see others be more open to the idea of them, just as it happened to me. Truth be told, I used to hate them. But now I don’t.
Of the classic makers that launched Bit loafers last year, many of them had an English type cut with a low vamp. Paul Parkman took the Italian route, with an elongated last and a high vamp. And that’s good to see, as it offers a variation to the masses which is important when making a love/hate model as in order to inject it into the mass of the shoe industry, it needs to have different ideas to its design to reach as many people as possible in the ‘love’ category.
I prefer the low cut vamp model, but what I love about this version by Paul Parkman is the very elegant dark teal color they used which I think will be the color of 2020/2021. The metal bar is also a nice design. It’s subtle but noticeable. It’s not grotesque in shape and design, which unfortunately is all-too-often found on many versions in the ‘Italian Designer Realm,’ with these awfully large and gaudy horse-bit bars.
I can see these doing very well with a certain crowd, shifting people away from the Italian designers, to something slightly more classic yet bold at the same time with a new color. Teal is here. To stay is a question that will be answered with time, but for now, it offers a great alternative to what we are seeing year after year. Well done Paul Parkman for these ones!
So what’s your take on the Bit loafer as a model? Love, Hate or Indifferent?
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