Dolapo Agunbiade takes us on a surrealist journey through time and pictures to explore the correlation between the height of heels and economic downturns
The idea has graced the internet for over a decade: the economic climate determines the fashionable height of heels in women’s shoes. Is this an undeniable fact or just fabulous fiction?
In 2009 – at the ‘height’ of the recession – it was reported that the average size of women’s heels mentioned in social-media posts was an incredible seven inches. However, by the year 2011, the average dropped to a far more comfortable two inches.
Also in 2011, Researchers at computer company IBM analysed fashion data to determine what the most popular pair of shoes were. They found that during those times flat shoes and kitten heels were in high demand.
“Usually, in an economic downturn, heels go up and stay up — as consumers turn to more flamboyant fashions as a means of fantasy and escape,” says Trevor Davis, a consumer product expert at IBM’s Global Business Services Unit.
Despite the fact that for the last year the majority of heel wearers have traded their stilettos for slippers, even a pandemic can’t stop the fashion wheel from turning.
In terms of footwear, it seems like the only way is up. Luxury brands such as Miu Miu, Versace and Moschino lure us onto greater heights with their current collections. Could it be an indication that the worst is yet to come?
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