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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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Sergio Rossi Embossed Leather Wedge Platform Blue Vintage High Heels

Sergio Rossi Light Blue & Beige Embossed Leather Wedge Shoes Platform
£220.80

Salvatore Ferragamo Suede Gancino Stick Pin Black Vintage Mid Heels

Salvatore Ferragamo Black Suede Gancino Stick Pin Heels Pumps Shoes
£151.80

Miu Miu Crystal Look Detail Metallic Purple Vintage Leather Pumps Heels

Vintage Miu Miu leather sandal-style pumps heels in purple with a crystal-look embellishment on the heel.
£193.20

Miu Miu Open Toe Bow Detail Taupe Leather Vintage Pumps Heels

Vintage Miu Miu open toe pump stiletto heels in pink taupe with a bow detail.
£200.10

Dolce & Gabbana Brown Snakeskin Heeled Jeweled Sandals

D&G high heel sandals in brown snakeskin leather with jewelled straps
£131.10

Dolce & Gabbana Colour Block Slingback Pumps

D&G pink and purple satin and suede peep toe sling back high heels
£207.00

Versace Metallic Snakeskin high Heel Sandals

Versace high heel sandals in metallic gold snakeskin leather
£207.00

Versace Pointed-Toe Platform Snakeskin Detail Turquoise Blue Vintage Suede Pumps Heels

Vintage Versace pumps heels in turquoise blue suede with a pointed toe and a platform heel with a snakeskin-look detail.
£179.40

Jimmy Choo Glenys Python Leather Black Sandals

Jimmy Choo black strappy zip front 'Glenys' sandals with a gold tone sip front
£430.00

Celine Gold Edged White Leather High Heel Sandals

Céline white white leather strap buckled high heels sandals with gold tone heel
£160.00

Gianni Versace Black Satin Open Toe Slingback Shoes with Rhinestones

Vintage 90s Gianni Versace black satin open toe slingback with rhinestones in front.
£476.86 £490.00

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
£320.00

Christian Dior Leather Lattice Suede Grey High Heel Ankle Boots

Dior grey suede ankle boots with platform toe and grey leather lattice detail to heel and toe
£316.80

Gucci Ankle Wrap Strap Platform Grey Vintage Leather Heels Shoes

Vintage Gucci heels in grey leather with a wrap style ankle strap.
£193.20

Prada Pointy Patent Leather White Heels Pumps

Vintage Prada pointed heels pumps in off white patent leather.
£355.00

Christian Dior Ponyhair Wooden Heel Platform Sandals Heels

Vintage Christian Dior platform sandals heels with a leopard print pony hair upper, a wooden heel and a peep toe.
£186.30

Gucci GG Monogram Varnished Leather Bow Toe Brown Vintage High Heel Pumps

Gucci pumps in monogram leather with brown heel and toe and a gold tone bow
£485.10

Stephane Kelian 1999 beaded vintage high Heels

1999 Stephane Kelian high heeled beaded shoes
£275.00

Yves Saint Laurent 1980s Strappy Feather detail black vintage shoes

Amazing 1980s black high heels with detachable feather detail
£530.00

Andrea Pfister Sling-Back Metallic Karung Snakeskin Pattern vintage shoes

Rainbow colour striped metallic heels - unworn
£705.00

Fendi Suede & Leather Platform Sandals Turquoise Vintage High Heels

Fendi Turquoise Suede & Leather Heeled Platform Sandals Shoes Pumps
£220.80

Louis Vuitton Snakeskin & Leather Wedge Platform Beige Vintage High Heels

Louis Vuitton Beige Snakeskin & Leather Wedge Shoes Cork Platform
£317.40

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

Joseph Magnin and Herbert Levine matching high heels and clutch bag
£255.00

Biba Iconic 1970s floral print vintage high heeled shoes

1970s Biba leather stacked heel sandals
£175.00

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