Say hello to Kitten Heels. This revolutionary approach to footwear was made famous by Audrey Hepburn, first in Funny Face and then in the fashion movie of the century: Breakfast at Tiffany’s. There is no denying that these heels are all kinds!
The slightly lowered height combined with the gently curved heel angle actually has a more interesting story than you’ve probably realized. In fact, you could almost say that the story behind kitty heels is pretty perfect …
Where everything began:
It all started in the 1950s. Stilettos had just been invented by French shoe designer Roger Vivier, who was designing for Christian Dior. They literally took the world by storm. With the exception of being worn on airplanes due to safety regulations, stilettos were worn everywhere. But of course they weren’t cheap. The moms would save their money until they could buy their first pair, then happily dance around the house, feeling amazing with their new added boost in height.
Who was looking at them? His children, of course. Desperately wanting to be seen as “older,” the young women tried on their mother’s shoes and began to dream. Naturally, since the cost of the shoes wasn’t that great, the mothers didn’t like this very much.
Introducing … the low heel!
Due to various reasons, including possible discomfort and the appearance of excess sexuality, stilettos were rated a no-no for boys. That is, until an unknown designer realized the economic opportunities of the world of heels. And thus the kitten heel was born!
Dubbed the “training heel” for girls, these shoes were about 1.5 to 2 inches tall. Generally worn for formal purposes, children would try to wear them whenever they could. With a dash of perfume and a makeup tassel too, of course. After all, they were trying to look as old as possible and had learned everything from their mother.
The new Kitten Heels shoes:
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the kitten heel took off! It was no longer strictly limited to children, everyone wanted to use them! The woman who deserves the most credit is the screen icon, Audrey Hepburn. She slipped on the shoes for her 1957 movie Funny Face. Producers were concerned that she looked too tall compared to her co-star Fred Astaire, so the good 2-inch kitty low heels arrived.
So these heels were the next big thing! Of course, with the rise of platform shoes in the mid-1960s, they temporarily fell out of favor. But when Jackie O started wearing them again, paired with her infamous pillbox hats, of course they were back on the fashion radar.
Kitten Heels today:
Audrey Hepburn? Jackie O? It’s no wonder kitty heels are a current fashion staple. We have seen them on the catwalks of Prada, Valentino and, of course, Dior. With celebrity fans like Michelle Obama, Alexa Chung, and the Olsen twins, it’s no wonder kitty heels are here to stay.