Boat Shoes, Functional Luxury Bags Define Men’s Accessories Brands’ Collections at Milan Fashion Week

MILAN — A return to classic footwear designs — often in featherlight, unlined leather — and refined leisure footwear seen in the ubiquitous boat shoe were among the strongest accessories trends at Milan Men’s Fashion Week for spring 2025. At the same time, handbag collections luxuriously hinged on functionality, reflecting the globe-trotting lifestyle of modern male customers.

Santoni’s spring collection marked a sleek return to classics, letting the company’s prowess in leather coloring and construction do the talking. Hinged on the earthy tones of its home region, the unlined Carlo penny loafer in suede with a Goodyear reverse construction had a vintage-looking ombré effect on the hems and piping. It was flanked by a new lineup called Easy of lightweight traditional designs, including a sandy beige brogue derby weighing only half a pound. In the sneakers range, the DBS Oly Cube model stood out for its ‘70s tennis-shoe inspiration and tromp l’oeil double buckle motif on the side.

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The Santoni Easy brogue for spring 2025.
The Santoni Easy brogue for spring 2025.

At Valextra, the mission of chief executive officer Xavier Rougeaux to inject newness into the brand’s legacy while respecting its codes is making strides. In sync with a conscious approach to business, the brand unveiled its first non-leather products using Econyl’s regenerated nylon for a men’s capsule collection called Valextra Assoluto and made up of a backpack, shopper and fanny pack, with black lacquered hardware. “I think that at Valextra it’s important to keep innovating starting from materials,” Rougeaux said. Along the same lines, the recent introduction of a softer version of the signature Millepunte textured leather has allowed the brand to soften its sleek designs and introduce practical versions of its Milano handbag, Babila tote and V-line backpack without comprising on details that have become the brand’s logo substitute, including the hand-inked piping. The collection spotlighted past and recent icons as Rougeaux said he sees directional and streamlined lineups as key for the brand to thrive. Additions to its lifestyle and gifting items launched in January included a collaboration with Faber-Castell on a chic leather pencil case.

The Valextra Assoluto capsule collection
The Valextra Assoluto capsule collection.

The new Otford boat loafer took the spotlight at Church’s. Its nautical inspiration, supple suede upper and contrasting rubber sole made it the ultimate go-to style to transition from off-duty moments in the city to weekend getaways waterfront. Its timeless design was rendered in a sophisticated color palette of six different hues, ranging from tobacco and forest green to beige and navy.

The Otford loafer from the Church's spring 2025 collection.
The Otford loafer from the Church’s spring 2025 collection.

An A-list guest list including the likes of Xavier Dolan and Poppy Delevingne was seen roaming around the impactful presentation Montblanc staged at the Salone dei Tessuti venue to unveil its spring 2025 collection. The brand’s artistic director Marco Tomasetta celebrated the craftsmanship and heritage of the brand across a wide selection of leather goods, which came with a few novelties. These encompassed a new metal buckle inspired by the shape of the mountains seen on bags in the Meisterstück collection and the M Lock 4810 buckle that popped up on the Extreme 3.0 line of backpacks and travel bags. A series of leather goods in degrade hues and embossed with a croco-like effect also stood out in the selection.

The brand also celebrated the 100th anniversary of its iconic Meisterstück pen, and offered a glimpse of what a Montblanc line of furniture could look like as Tomasetta designed a special desk that accented different areas of the space.

Shoemaker Testoni, which turns 95 this year, continued to spotlight its signature designs as well as exotic skin footwear, incidentally the hero material for the newly introduced made to order service, which allows customers at the brand’s store on Milan’s Via Gesù to personalize signature designs with the leather of choice, initials and custom-colored hand stitching. With a price tag ringing in at 5,000 euros for some designs, exotics are perhaps not for every customer. The spring collection expanded the footwear wardrobe the brand has built over the years, offering business options including sleek derby and monkstrap designs flanked by informal, half-lined loafers with tassels done in suede and defined by strong flexibility.

A Testoni artisan working on a made to order derby shoe.
A Testoni artisan working on a made-to-order derby shoe.

Shoes are Pollini’s bread and butter but the spring men’s offering spotlighted the revamped leather goods category with suede weekender bags in refined charcoal gray and tan shades, flanked by seven other designs intended for different occasions, including a modern briefcase with padded lining for extra protection of digital devices. The collection was also offered in Bottalato, textured leather and in a waterproof and scratch-resistant coated canvas. On the footwear front, the range spanned from more formal wingtip derbies in vintage-looking leather to summery sandals and penny loafers. A boat shoe-slip on hybrid with a white rubber sole was flanked by leisure derbies with chunkier outsoles and urban sneakers in white leather with a honey-colored sole.

Pollini Men's Spring 2025 slip-on with rubber sole.
Pollini men’s spring 2025 slip-on with rubber sole.

Philippe Model presented its ready to wear collection for spring 2025 designed by Tuomas Merikoski which included for men long and loose shorts, loose tailoring in swimsuit fabrics, short blousons in voile and poplin and for women fluid shirt and apron dresses and Capri trousers. But the core of the brand remains shoes. Case in point, the return of the chukka style in the classic “Big Model” sabot and new interpretations of his signature sneakers through a new serpentine shield monogram, in metallic flowers and oversized interpretations of the shield logo.

A look from Philippe Model Men's Spring 2025 with the "Big Model" shoes
A look from Philippe Model men’s spring 2025 with the Big Model shoes.

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