Editor’s note: Mari Rodríguez Ichaso has been a contributor to Vanidades magazine for several decades. She is a specialist in fashion, travel, gastronomy, art, architecture and entertainment, film producer and style columnist for CNN en Español. The opinions expressed in this column are solely his own. Read more opinion pieces at cnne.com/opinion.
(CNN Spanish) – Hello manolos! How are you, Jimmy Choo! Welcome Louboutins!
Long time without seeing them! But I don’t know if I still love them or not.
I don’t know about you, but my high heels have been sleeping the dream of oblivion for more than a year. Total forgetfulness! And when I recently started dusting their boxes, I realized that since the early days of the pandemic I haven’t used them. And when I tried them on, how uncomfortable I found them and I could hardly walk with them! I will have to – little by little – get used to them.
This instantly reminded me of the debut, many years ago, of the model Claudia Schiffer on the Chanel catwalk in Paris, and how it amused us journalists because the young German woman did not know how to walk with the high heels she was wearing! And so I felt: a little wobbly and awkward, trying on my beloved stilettos, which I instantly took off, asking myself the question: “Will we go back to wearing high heels?”
Although in 2020 – according to instyle.com and the statistics company Glossy – sales of high heels in the United States fell 71%, things seem to be changing in 2021.
“Designers and consumers alike, the consensus is that the return of high heels is imminent and certain,” says footwearnees.com. As fashion industry experts and publications like The New York Times, Yahoo.com, Vogue.com, and WGSN consultants Sidney Morgan-Petro and Beth Goldstein agree, there is a tendency to re-dress. with more elegance and high style.
And my own prediction is that – fortunately – the use of sports shoes or sneakers will be for sporting occasions or relaxing moments, and with those beautiful dresses or stylish outfits we will wear heels! Of greater or lesser height, closed or sandal style, but heels that give a more proportionate and more stylized look to the figure. And according to Morgan-Petro, “high heels have their moment again.”
I hate (and I can say it with complete sincerity) to see a nice dress worn with those horrible sneakers or rough trainers, as well as rubber shoes like Crocs or aggressive military ankle boots, in the style of Doc Martens. When a young woman wears them – like the model Gigi Hadid, who wears many sneakers – it is a more cute and acceptable image, but I think that when a more mature woman wears that style the result, as I see it, is frankly unaesthetic and absurd . Is comfort worth more than looking pretty? Not in my opinion, and not in this case!
Interestingly, Internet searches for “high heels” indicate a new interest in them, especially those for “dress” heels for proms, weddings, and formal events. And Manolo Blahnik, whose stilettos –manolos– were the craze of Carrie Bradshaw and the stars of “Sex and the City”, is so confident in his return that he has just opened boutiques in East Hampton (the one I visited a few days ago) and Madison. Avenue in Manhattan.
As my good friend Blahnik told The New York Times, “women cannot live without their high heels.” In fancy stores like Saks – a vendor at the Fifth Avenue branch told me – they are again selling 4- and 5-inch heels, the specialty of brands like Christian Louboutin, Aquazzura and Jimmy Choo.
And although the prices of sneakers – Dolce & Gabbana, Vuitton or Jimmy Choo designs (with diamonds!), Etc. – are still stratospheric, they are just as high again for heels, which – after According to salespeople I spoke to at Macy’s – they were down in the last year!
Whatever opinions are on the subject, there is no doubt that there is a desire to regain habits and a more optimistic and joyful lifestyle. A wish for who we were – and who we were – before the many sad months and months of confinement and tragedy. It is almost an exercise in survival! And something so frivolous and everyday, like a pair of shoes, is part of that “return” to our lives.
And for many, seeing Kamala Harris, the vice president of the United States, walk with the strong step of her stilettos, is proof of this!