The origins of five classic models
There was a time when one’s footwear indicated one’s social status. It goes without saying the more ornate models, now preserved in museums, were reserved for high-end society. Fully democratized, shoes these days are the proud representatives of one’s identity: are you casual, bohemian or glamorous? Check out the history of five popular shoe types.
Originally made for the dance world, as the name suggests, ballerinas are leather shoes with a flat sole. Made popular during the second half of the 20th century, it was the iconic Brigitte Bardot who, while filming And God Created Women, asked French ballet shoe store Repetto to fashion her a pair for city living. Undeniably feminine, this style of shoes is a must for any fashionista.
Rosario flats (stone coloured snake), $365 at Pretty Ballerinas.
A friend during the warm season, espadrilles are canvas shoes that have a sole made of jute-fabric rope. Their origins—which France and Spain are debating over—goes back to the 12th century when they were worn on the feet of the King of Aragon. Mauleon espadrilles, still made in the Northern Basque Country in France, helped stimulate the imagination of designers today, all for the comfort of our tootsies!
TOMS Glitters (pink), $65.
Named after a character from the Buster Brown comic strips in the early 1900s, Mary Janes were first worn by little girls at the beginning of the last century. They are indistinguishable thanks to their buckle strap. Long forgotten at first, they resurfaced thanks to Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, who professed her love for Manolo Blahniks.
Vince Camuto “Jasper” Mary Jane Pumps, $123 at Nordstrom.
Originally worn in the military, lace-up leather boots are an urban footwear must. For even more comfort, modern versions are made with more malleable leather. Pair them with an ultra-romantic look to be extra-daring!
For urban Pocahontases, this is of the perfect shoe! The moccasin, derived from the Algonquin Indian word for “shoe”, is a light and lace-free shoe made of soft suede. Made by Native American tribes, they were essential in helping them move quietly while out on a hunt. Tradition states that the shoe must be flat, yet modern designers certainly like to add their own spin to the classic, such as fashioning them in bright colours. Now we’re ready for our city treks!
Hush Puppies Recline Moccasins, $130.