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Vintage High Heels

“I don’t know who invented the high heel,” said Marilyn Monroe, “but all women owe him a lot.”
When Marilyn Monroe said these words, she could have had little idea of the dizzy heights high heels would reach in the 20th century.  Both women and men have been lifting themselves from the floor with heels for centuries but it wasn’t until in 1954 when Roger Vivier took thin rods of steel and inserted them into the heel that the full potential for these vintage high heels and a stiletto heel became apparent.  From then on, heels have taken every form from the classic stiletto, moulded sculptural masterpieces and even heel-less. 

Looking back through the decades, there are a myriad of styles to choose from with vintage t strap heels to vintage platform shoes and sometimes their dates may surprise you.  Predating Roger Vivier, the iconic Salvatore Ferragamo Rainbow Wedges were in fact made for Judy Garland in 1938 though they seem closer to something from the swinging sixties.  Designers have adapted shape and form to create weird and wonderful creations which bend the mind.  Alexander McQueen was the fashion king of the extraordinary shoe, most notably with the Armadillo boots from his Plato’s Atlantis (Spring/Summer 2010) collection.  At 30 cm high from floor to ankle and a slightly inward bending heel, they seem an impossible feet of engineering. Yet these weird hoof like creations were the perfect base for his collection and have possibly been celebrated beyond the clothes.  They prove the power of a great pair of high heel shoes.

The scientifically proven temporary posture and bottom boosting power of a great high heel makes them irresistible to many women as proved by the popularity of plain high heel pumps from designers such as Christian Louboutin.  These shoes, whether high or moderately heeled can give add height and elongate the figure in any outfit.  However, vintage high heel shoes prove that designers have also playfully taken advantage of sky scraper heights.  In 1993, Vivienne Westwood’s Fall show was immortalised by Naomi Campbell’s tumble from her platform lace ups and Daphne Guinness can often be seen in her signature heel-less beauties.  If you come a cropper take a leaf from Guinness’s book ‘What is the taboo around falling down? You're supposed to feel embarrassed. But you know, gravity, man.’  Psychologists have studied a woman’s attraction to shoes and have many theories from the frustrated traveller to Cinderella and searching for enlightenment.  Yet we all know that, even on a day when we are not feeling our best, a pair of high heel shoes whether we wear them to please others eyes or just our own, can add a large (if slightly wobbly) spring to your step.

Take a look through Open For Vintage’s collection of vintage heels, whether you are looking for a specific event such as vintage wedding heels or simply for pleasure, there is plenty to inspire.

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Fendi Woven Raffia Patent Leather Slingback Pumps Size 36

431.6000 Label 1 : Womens Accessories > Womens Shoes > High Heels Metal / Material : Leather Style Keyword : Womens Shoes > High Heels Gender : Female Mens/Womens : Womens Accessories : Shoes specification : Black, , Good Size : 36
CHF 432.08

Gucci by Tom Ford Green Python Snakeskin Slingback Pumps

734.3105 Label 1 : Womens Accessories > Womens Shoes > High Heels,Womens Accessories > Gucci Accessories Style Keyword : Womens Shoes > High Heels Gender : Female Mens/Womens : Womens Accessories : Shoes specification : Green, , Decade : 1990-1999 Size : 37
CHF 652.59

Teal Christian Dior Embossed Slingback Pumps

308.7500 Label 1 : Womens Accessories > Womens Shoes > High Heels,Womens Accessories > Christian Dior Accessories Style : Revival Metal / Material : Leather Style Keyword : Womens Shoes > High Heels Gender : Female Mens/Womens : Womens Accessories : Shoes specification : Blue, , Good Size : 8
CHF 241.35

Chanel Bi Tones Slingback Heels

1459.0445 Label 1 : Womens Accessories > Womens Shoes > High Heels,Womens Accessories > Chanel Accessories Length (inches) : 9in. Style Keyword : Womens Shoes > High Heels Gender : Female Mens/Womens : Womens Accessories : Shoes specification : Black, , Excellent Decade : 1990-1999 Size : 38
CHF 1 352.94

Pancaldi Colour Blocked Leather Slingback Shoes

759.0290 Label 1 : Womens Accessories > Womens Shoes > High Heels Metal / Material : Leather Style Keyword : Womens Shoes > High Heels Gender : Female Mens/Womens : Womens Accessories : Shoes specification : Black, , Excellent Decade : 1980-1989 Size : 37
CHF 676.48

Chanel Two Tone Glitter Cap Toe Slingback Pumps Heels

555.8000 Label 1 : Womens Accessories > Womens Shoes > High Heels,Womens Accessories > Chanel Accessories Metal / Material : Leather Style Keyword : Womens Shoes > High Heels Gender : Female Mens/Womens : Womens Accessories : Shoes specification : Black, , Good Size : 36
CHF 576.10

Dolce & Gabbana Color Block Slingback Pumps Heels Size 38

291.8750 Label 1 : Womens Accessories > Womens Shoes > High Heels Style Keyword : Womens Shoes > High Heels Gender : Female Mens/Womens : Womens Accessories : Shoes specification : Purple, , Size : 38
CHF 270.05

Vintage 90s Gianni Versace Black Satin Open Toe Slingback with Rhinestones

756.9635 Label 1 : Womens Accessories > Womens Shoes > High Heels Style Keyword : Womens Shoes > High Heels Gender : Female Mens/Womens : Womens Accessories : Shoes specification : Black, , Excellent Decade : 1990-1999 Size : 37
CHF 674.48

40s Red Leather and Snakeskin Platforms

568.5710 Label 1 : Womens Accessories > Womens Shoes > High Heels Metal / Material : Leather Style Keyword : Womens Shoes > High Heels Gender : Female Mens/Womens : Womens Accessories : Shoes specification : Red, , Excellent Decade : 1940-1949
CHF 492.43

Giuseppe Zanotti golden leather vintage slingback high heel pumps

Eye-catching golden crystal embellished slingback high heel pumps by Giuseppe Zanotti probably from the 1990s
CHF 410.94

Joseph Magnin & Herbert Levine 1960s Metallic Vintage Shoes & Bag

Joseph Magnin and Herbert Levine matching high heels and clutch bag
CHF 326.14

Caovilla 1950s Handmade black vintage Shoes

1950s Handmade Satin Evening Shoes by Italian Firm Caovilla
CHF 221.78

Pinet of New Bond Street 1950s lace brown vintage shoes

1950's Lace & Suede Court Shoes by Pinet of New Bond Street
CHF 123.93

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