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Item of the week: the leather skirt

By Rachel Douglass


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(From left) Image: Na-kd, Madewell, Filippa K

What it is:

Leather skirts for spring/summer 2023 ranged from sleek, knee-length pencil skirts to risqué, biker-inspired minis, prominently placing the style at the centre of runway trends for the upcoming season. While some brands and designers stuck to the standard animal leather, others opted for animal-friendly iterations of the material, further widening the scope of the product category. Its prominence not only had a hold on the runways, but also saw it make statements in street style looks outside the shows, further emphasising the skirt style’s place for SS23.

Image: By-Bar Amsterdam

Why you’ll want it:

While leather may not be the typical fabric of choice for warmer weather, this season’s leather skirts often consisted of thin materials and short hemlines, appropriating the item for the seasons ahead. The leather skirt in itself is a staple wardrobe piece that regularly returns in refreshed iterations each year, in keeping with current trends. This means that shoppers will often purchase the item as a long-term investment, something they can wear year-after-year. Additionally, a number of brands have begun to implement animal-friendly or ‘sustainable’ iterations of the design into their offering, allowing for a wider consumer base to access the piece.

Image: The Kooples

Where we’ve seen it:

Leather pencil skirts were a popular version of this trend on runways, with the likes of Bottega Veneta and Mônot offering up sleek, silhouette-hugging designs. These significantly contrasted the tiny, belt-like skirts of a number of brands and designers, including Isabel Marant, which opted for a metallic silver material, and Versace, which drew influences from a mix of both ‘biker’ and ‘barbiecore’ trends. In a more punk-like fashion, Natasha Zinko also presented leather skirts, albeit with safety pins and cut out details that contrasted the slinky, printed shirts they were paired with.

Image: Anotherwoman

How to style it:

Leather skirts are an item that allow for plenty of styling possibilities, depending on the weather, of course. In keeping with the upcoming season’s ‘biker’ trend, pair the skirt with an oversized biker jacket for a full leather-on-leather look. The material can also work well with contrasting fabrics, such as distressed denim or silky blouses, both of which complement the tough exterior of the leather skirt. Silk or printed shirts further help to create a softer appearance to the look, while distressed elements or cut up designs bring a bit of edge to the piece. For colder weather, add an oversized sweater and long-line coat to take the skirt into the autumn/winter season.

Image: Karl Lagerfeld

As a well established wardrobe staple, the leather skirt is an item almost every customer can feel comfortable purchasing knowing that it will continue to remain in style for years to come. Iterations for SS23 see it take on the form of current trends, albeit in still styles that will remain in favour as seasons pass.

Image: Alter Ego

Similar items available for (pre)order can be found in the FashionUnited Marketplace. You can find them by clicking on this link.

Item of the Week
leather skirt