Short History of Heels

Short History of Heels

"I don't know who invented heels, but all women owe him a lot," said Marylin Monroe once. She was right! High heels are nowadays an indispensable element of women's wardrobe. Depending on the type and height of the heel, a woman creates her image thanks to them: she can be elegant and classy at a solemn celebration, sexy and charming on a date, or professional and distinguished at work. Whatever the occasion, they add charm, femininity and drive self-confidence.

Did you know it wasn't women who wore heels first? 

Men were the first to put on high-heeled shoes . These were butchers in the  ancient Egypt. The reason was purely practical - they didn't want to get their feet dirty by wading in pool of blood. For equally practical reasons, since the 13th century, the Mongols of Genghis Khan put on high-heeled boots on their feet. Thanks to this, the feet were better immobilised in the stirrups, which allowed for a stable hold in the saddles.
The first women to put on the platform were Venetian women in the 15th century. They weren't your typical heels yet - but shoes on an extremely thick sole. The official name of these shoes, designed to prevent silk dresses from soaking in the waters of the lagoon, is Chopines . A sole made of cork imported from Spain could be up to 75 cm high. However, it was difficult to walk in such footwear on their own, so the ladies often used the services of servants, leaning on their shoulders.

Chopines went out of fashion when in the 16th century it was recognized that lowering the sole at the front of the shoe, while maintaining its entire height under the heel, significantly facilitates walking with high heels. 
Such a wedge-heeled shoe appeared on the feet of the 14-year-old, barely 155 cm tall Catherine de Medici. As recorded in the chronicles in 1533, the Italian brought a new shoe to the French court on the eve of her wedding with the Prince of Orleans, Henry, son of the French king, Francis I.

The new fashion introduced by Catherine de Medici was picked up by the French court and then all of Europe. But for the next three centuries, only the aristocracy wore 12cm tall shoes with red heels and red soles. At that time, red was considered the most difficult and therefore the most expensive colour to obtain. It is probably for this reason that this colour was the most snobbish expression of wealth. 🙂

A red heel shoe with a red sole and a gold buckle on the front has become a symbol of aristocratic status . At the court of Louis XIV, court etiquette did not allow for other footwear. The Sun King himself had over 120 pairs of wedge shoes. Later, Marie Antoinette also became famous at the French court as a great fan of shoes and dresses, for which she squandered money from the royal treasury. With the French Revolution of 1789, red, aristocratic heeled shoes fell into oblivion.

It was not until 1888 in the USA that the first factory of stilettos worn with long dresses concealing them was build. However, while in the puritan nineteenth century, the mere sight of the tips of stilettos protruding from under the dress evoked wild fantasies, the progressive twentieth century from decade to decade revealed first the heel, then the entire slipper, calf, knee and more.

In 1947, Christian Dior presented in Paris a new female pattern - a white jacket, a truncated hat, a flared black skirt. For this stylish black gloves and bright shoes with tapered heels. This historical image shows an early version of high heels, which soon, signed with the names of great designers, were to conquer not only European stores, but also the streets of the world. Usually it is Roger Vivera, who designed shoes for Dior , who is considered to be the great shoemaker of the era who created the first real high heels. They were called stiletto heels. They were reinforced with steel so that they would not break.

In 1973, the length of the fashionable skirt dropped to a record 20 cm. Since then, a woman's leg on a thin, slender heel has become the embodiment of female sensuality and refined self-presentation . The high heel slims the ankle and enhances the calf. High heels are considered the most aesthetic women's slippers today.

Here at PiccolaShoes, we want to give you access to luxury handmade petite heels at affordable prices. We may not be the cheapest, nor the most expensive supplier of small size shoes in Europe but we can guarantee that you will get the best quality, genuine leather heels that fit like a glove. We also strive to follow new and upcoming fashion trends to ensure you don't settle for last season style. From classic, wardrobe staple like court heels to party ready killer heels and wedges, we hope we have something for everyone. If not, give us a shout, tell us what you would like to see, help us shape the future for all petite feet ladies around the world.

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