The Heights of Fashion highlights 60 examples of platform footwear from the 1930s - the present.
Fashionable platform shoes appeared in Europe and the United States in the 1930s and 1940s but the popularity of platforms in the 1970s reached far greater heights and lingered far longer. From the rebellious days of the 1970s through the style-conscious present day, platforms continue as fashion statements by both sexes. Unique and movable platforms created by top designers sometimes require caution, from the fashion runway to the streets.
Elevated shoes have appeared for centuries in cultures around the world. In Ancient Greece, actors wore thick-soled shoes to heighten their stature before their audience. In Europe, from about 1600-1750, some women in high society and the demimonde wore tall pedestal shoes called copines. Thick platform shoes were fashionable in the Manchu culture of Northeast China. Japan’s platform sandals became part of the traditional dress of geishas.