‘The higher the better’: Why platforms are in vogue
However, in the broader trend towards statement heels, the shift to soles – or those with thicker soles reminiscent of Y2K fashion – can best be explained after a year. Loungewear’s dominant wardrobe.
“We’re going to move out of sneakers and into comfortable shoes, and so the jump from sneakers to heels is a big step,” says Chavez. “I feel like this platform, because it’s more comfortable, is a great alternative.
“Right now, it’s the foundation of everything. The higher, the more complex, the better.”
“Saturday Night Live” star Bowen Yang wore silver Syro heels to the Emmy Awards in 2021. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images
Syro co-founder Shaobo Han says that the shoe has become a tool for self-expression as people increasingly challenge and blur gender discrimination.
“Being able to show that femininity (on the street) without feeling embarrassed is a strength,” explains Han.
A sign of the times
According to Elizabeth Hemmelseck, director and senior manager of the BATA Shoe Museum in Toronto, aristocratic Southern European women would wear these “extraordinarily tall” soles, which increase the length of the textile. A pair is recorded as high as 20 inches.
Shoes from the Qianlong Emperor’s court at the Imperial Palace in Beijing. Credit: VCG Wilson / Corbis / Getty Images
The platform heel – which combines both a block and heel – is believed to have appeared in 17th-century Persia. Hemmelseck says the style was worn by Persian horsemen as designers tried to “find the ant” architecture of high heels”.
Once high heels were developed, they fell into obscurity before returning to fashion in the 1930s, 1970s, and late 1990s and 2000s. Hemmelseck observed that interest in platforms seemed to increase. during a period of “social unrest and economic stress”.
“Why did (is it) during the Great Depression, shoes with bananas?” she asked. “Why did our shoes go crazy during the oil crisis and economic crisis of the ’70s? Is there something in common?”
Flats are seen in an illustration of a Venetian lady housed in the Rijksmuseum, dating from 1660 to 1670. Credit: Heritage Photos / The Hulton Archives / Getty Images
It’s a trend tech company IBM picked up on in 2011 with a study that explored why heels are higher during these challenging times, as well as during the crises that followed. like the dot-com bubble burst in the late 90s.
IBM consumer products expert Trevor Davis is quoted in the report as saying: “Typically, during an economic downturn, heels go up and up, as consumers turn to fashion. more brilliant as a vehicle for imagination and escape,” IBM consumer products expert Trevor Davis is quoted as saying in the report.
If there’s ever been a shoe in fantasy, it’s the pair created by Italian shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo. In 1938, during the Great Depression, the designer released “The Rainbow” – a sports platformer with a multicolored sole dedicated to actor Judy Garland. They were made of cork as well as colored leather, a scarce material at the time.
A view of Salvatore Ferragamo’s “The Rainbow” heels, taken in 2016 at the brand’s headquarters in Florence. Credit: Alessandra Benedetti / Corbis / Getty Images
However, in addition to being a form of escapism, platforms again became popular in the 1930s due to pragmatism, Hemmelseck speculates. Many women at the time couldn’t afford a luxurious wardrobe, so investing in an expensive pair of heels that could be worn with multiple outfits was a way to stay on top of fashion trends. through an “overwhelming accessory,” she said.
“(Platforms) did a lot of things, saying: ‘I’m part of the times and so I’m still in fashion. Just don’t look at the rest of what I’m wearing.”
Elton John, pictured in 1973, wears red and silver boots. Detailed with initials E and J, the shoe is 8 inches tall and was created by Ken Todd of Kensington Market. Credit: Victor Crawshaw / Mirrorpix / Getty Images
In the 1970s, platform shoes were on the rise again, with names like David Bowie and John Travolta taking the stage by storm with sky-high versions. For stars like Bowie, Travolta and Elton John, the shoes raised “bigger questions about (gender) binary,” added Hemmelseck.
Hemmelsack also credits a resurgence in men’s high heels during that era due to factors such as the Peacock Revolution in the 60s, which reacted to the American women’s liberation movement at the time by “consider other masculinity models around the world.”
Men of the period “talked about the revival of (King of France) Louis XIV,” who was known for his opulent and powerful wardrobe. “Can’t we Westerners shake off this boring authority uniform, the business suit, and start connecting with our innate masculinity through the way we dress?”
Lady Gaga, who regularly wore flats during the early part of her career, returned with an incredible look this year. Credit: Gotham Image / GC / Getty Images
High heels have also developed different meanings over time – and in some cases, symbolize prostitution. According to Hemmelsack, “thick platforms, with narrow heels, (became) the architectural type of striptease” as early as the 1930s. Over time, it evolved into the clear Lucite foundation of those The ’90s were worn by strippers and pole dancers, thanks to brands like Pleaser, which then became mainstream in the 2000s as stars adopted them into fashion.
As for the platform heels favored at this year’s red carpet events, Hemmelsack says the style embodies this eroticism as well as a resurgence of ’90s nostalgia.
In 2021, “dopamine dressing” has become a widely used term in fashion, characterizing the desire for bolder, brighter, sexier outfits.
Billy Porter attended the Fashion Awards wearing a Richard Quinn dress and black high-heeled boots. Credit: Image Karwai Tang / WireImage / Getty
Some of Syro’s creations – such as the ostentatious red platform and the silver metal rings that Yang wears – have coincided with the trend, selling out almost immediately to the surprise of those on the go. co-founders Han and Henry Bae.
“We didn’t think something as loud as the (silver) shoe we made would be so well received, but again, it just goes to show that people want crazy things.” , Han said.
But platform shoes are more than just fun footwear — it’s a form of gender expression, Han added, who uses the surname and the pronoun surname.
Model and TikTok star Wisdom Kaye wears boots during an episode of “Project Runway.” Credit: Greg Endries / Bravo / NBCU Photo Prohibition / Getty Images
While heels for men and non-binaries have become increasingly associated with fetish devices, they say, Syro was created to meet the need for an “everyday platform for those people that don’t fit… objects that really represent how we see ourselves.” Growing up, Han recalls, the femininity was “used against me,” but the shoes now act as a reinterpretation of that femininity.
“The ability to walk down the street in a pair of heels, rocking your hips, clicking on the heights of femininity, it’s inherently powerful.
According to co-founder Shaobo Han, a model wore a pair of red Syro boots, which sold out almost immediately. Credit: Fernando Palafox
“People want to feel strong and (be) strong. That’s what I think platforms really make us all feel like. The moment you put them on, that extra five inches of height that you tell yourself. action gets, you start to suddenly look out into the other world,” they said, adding that they wanted to prove “the weird kids out there that weird fun is real.”
“Living our lives authentically and joyfully is a protest against the oppression we are feeling.”