Fashion is cyclical and regional. Garments and shoes are in today, out tomorrow, and fashionable again after a few years. Often regional garments, worn for 100’s of years, inspire designers from another area of the world. Zori are perfect examples of the fashion cycle that draws from many regions and eras.
Zori are classic Japanese footwear, the forerunner of flip flops. Whether made of rubber, leather, cork, or other materials, flip flops are pretty much the same zori design the Japanese have been wearing for a very long, long time. In fact, these zori are available at Japanese shops and online right now. (I bought a pair when I first moved to NYC.) The materials are slightly different but they’re still zori (and still stylish and fashionable).
These antique zori were made for a child. Notice the shape at the toe. Haute shoe designers have been making variations on this shape over the past several years. Some of their designs are covered in silk, like these. It’s the same fashion, reworked and re-imagined for today.
These zori inspired sandals have a sculpted sole, a Roman thong, and boots/socks, which would make them more stable. They’re are not my personal taste, though I do like avant garde. But these combine more elements than I’m happy wearing at once. And I’m afraid of them. But many women love them; I’ve yet to see or read of women falling because they wear shoes like these.
Fashion has always been cyclical and has drawn from various regions and historical periods. (Zouave jackets took their design from uniforms worn in the 18th and 19th centuries. The basic design is still available today, often as an open cardigan.) So, if you love a garment or shoes, if the quality and condition are good, if the fit is good, even if what you love is out at the moment, keep it. We often love things because they tell the world who we are. That’s personal style. So even if you don’t want to wear it today, soon, it will either be vintage or back in style.