This chic book taps into the fetish and fashion of shoes, from the pump to the sneaker, the boot to the stiletto. All the major players are represented here: from brand-new interviews with Manolo Blahnik, master of the skyscraper heel, to witty quips from Tom Ford, the designer who sparked the resurgence of the famous Gucci loafer. Subjects such as the merits of platforms, or the 'Designer Bofs' and 'Techno Urban Warriors' of the sneaker-buying public are tackled with humour. Not limited to designers and trends, Shoes also explores the relationship between shoes and sex, and gender roles. Are high heels a symbol of subordination or empowerment? What is the fascination that shoes hold for fetishists? Nothing is left unsaid here, in candid commentary ranging from the Wall Street Journal to Rupaul. This is an exuberant history of contemporary shoes for the well-shod of every 'style tribe'.
Valerie Steele is Chief Curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. A cultural historian specialising in fashion, she is the editor of the journal Fashion Theory and has contributed essays to many other periodicals, from Aperture and Artforum to Visionnaire and Vogue. Her previous books include Paris Fashion, Women of Fashion, Fetish and Fifty Years of Fashion.