THE HISTORY OF HIGH HEELS 1 2 3 4 5 

The origin of the high heel goes back many centuries in history. The first precursors of stiletto heels were discovered in a tomb of Tebas in Old Egypt, and date from 1000 BC. These heels possibly provided a high social status to those who wore them.

The idea prevailed in Old Greece, where Esquilo, the first great Greek theatrical author mounted his actors on platform shoes of differing heights to indicate each character's social status. The same idea existed in the East. The Japanese emperor Hirohito was crowned in 1926 on platform shoes with a height of 30 cm.

High heels are associated with sex. Japanese courtiers had clogs of 15 to 30 cm, Chinese concubines and Turkish odalisques had high sandals possibly to prevent them from escaping from the harem, and prostitutes of Old Rome were identified by their high heels.

The modern European fashion of the high heel comes from the Italian "chapiney" or "chopine" style: mounted shoes on a 15 to 42 cm high cylinder. Some reached 75 cm and the ladies who wore them had to lean on sticks so that they could walk.

In 1430 chopines were prohibited in Venice, but nothing could stop the trend. The invention of the high heel is attributed to Catherine of Medici in Paris, in the 16th century, who used them due to her short stature, and soon introduced them into fashion amongst the European aristocracy.

In the 17th century, the English Parliament punished as witches all women who used high heels to seduce men into marrying them. In his biography, the famous Giovanni Casanova declared his love for high heels, which raised women's hoop skirts, thus showing their legs.

In the 19th century, high heels were introduced into the USA, imported from brothels in Paris because of the success they had had amongst the clientele who preferred to hire the services of prostitutes who wore these heels.

Designer shoes didn't exist as such before the 20th century, it was more an activity within the modest shoemaker profession.

The industry of mass-production of footwear had its beginnings in the USA, where what began as a family activity of colonists from New England, ended in the appearance of the first shops in the middle of the 18th century.

The tradition of handmade shoes, like the famous designer, is to a great extent a European phenomenon, in countries such as England and Italy. Also in France, where footwear design was intimately related to dressmaking, whose Parisian industry was founded by the Englishman Charles Frederick Worth in 1858, and it was the first of prominence in the world of fashion, to the point where he dressed the whole of European royalty.

Contact : webmaster@heikes-heels.de

On the Top