Spring's newest and biggest footwear trend has bloomed early this year for wholesale ladies clothing manufacturers and is already brightening the icy high streets. It's time to slip back into the mule, the backless shoe that ruled the catwalks of New York Fashion Week this year, and a style that took pride of place in the collections of every continental fashion house, ladieswear wholesaler and wholesale ladies clothing manufacturer worth their salt this spring.

The specifics of the mule are simple - they can be heeled as the designer sees fit; high, low, kitten or otherwise. As long as the back is open and the toe is closed, then it's a mule. This simplicity to the concept has allowed ladieswear wholesalers to develop their own unique iterations of the piece with relative ease, and to some stunning results for both on and off the catwalks. Designers have let their shoe designs really hold their own this season, taking a step away from the the top heavy high octane glamour of the 40’s and 60's that made its long-prophesised return to the catwalk in an explosion of exquisite fur detailing and sophistication for winter 2011. Despite the playful floral patterns and Paisley prints that will surely be a hit among ladieswear wholesalers and ladies wholesale clothing manufacturers this spring, the season’s styles represent the more modern sartorial elegance that was only hinted on last year, when cutting-edge printing techniques gave massive trends jewel tones and metallics an overdue update for the 21st century.

At New York Fashion Week, journalists and fashion critics saw continental heavyweight Louis Vuitton pair his candyland pastel collection with striking pointed silver toes and bright metallic straps, offsetting his on-trend snakeskin dresses to perfection. Meanwhile, Prada's Mui Mui line hit the ground running with a collection of vivacious velvet reds and dazzling patent leathers, making more than a nod to the colour blocking of last year, and leaving wholesale ladies clothing manufacturers clamouring to follow in their sartorial lead.

Ladieswear wholesalers know the mule is the first major shoe trend of Spring, one diverse yet simple enough to last us long into the prospective future. Irrelevant of its colour, structure or pairing, this is the new ‘It’ shoes for 2011, and a first taste of what will surely be a exciting year in fashion and footwear.