Thursday, July 31, 2008

When you are bankrupt of ideas, insult the customer

The Thoughtful Dresser has been on the lookout for attractive mid-heel shoes. She has not found any.
Read It's true. Shoe designers hate us.

Or read the article she refers to, Linda Armstrong's
Is it time to knock down skyscraper heels?
“So,” I asked the head of the shoe design studio at Louis Vuitton in Paris recently, “when are you going to do a shoe for you know, wearing?” The slightly wounded reply was that if they had money for every time someone made a smart-aleck comment like that, they would be very rich indeed, but that actually, there were no plans to introduce lower heels in the foreseeable future.

It's pretty much the same story at other fashion shoes houses - officially, at least. “Our customer is a fashion customer” one PR said, implying that anyone not prepared to stagger through her day in 105mm has obviously given up the fight to look good. Another told me that their 35mm to 55mm heels were doing very nicely - with the “older” customer.

Great. Wanting a shoe you can walk in now categorises you as a geriatric. In some of the more fashionable stores, you actually have to ask to see a mid-height heel - they're not on display.
Coincidentally, did you see Bill Cunningham's audio slide show on Sunday about the wholly impractical shoes of summer? The Appeal of the Heel Notice how many of the women on the street, beside the women in ultra high heels, are wearing flip flops. Ugh. Can the shoe designers give us nothing in between?

I have arthritis. I can't even wear mid-heels much less high heels. I cannot wear flip flops to work. I like fashion. I earn a professional income and am willing to pay for quality. Rather than cater to me, the designers would rather insult me by calling me geriatric?

From the archives:
What is Wrong With This Picture?


  1. Anonymous16:43

    While many designers are men, in general extreme trends in fashion are something women inflict on one another. Super high heels, super lowrider pants, and the like, well, at least those men that I compare notes with don't find them appealing. Women buy them to impress each other, not us. Many fashion designers may very well be secretly (or openly) misogynistic, but store owners are just business people.
    --Eric (in his first ever BMGM comment on matters relating to fabrics, knitting, or clothing)

  2. I hate heels and refuse to wear them, my favourite brand of shoes is Camper ( - their shoe finder, where you can pick no heels)

    They do such cute things, that are not ugly but without heels - my mum just bought this pair.

    And I LOVE these.

  3. I guess I don't buy expensive enough shoes -- I'm usually able to find any style and heel height I want. (Whether or not they actually fit properly once I find them, however, is a totally different story.)

  4. Well, gee, I can wear heels but heel heights have gotten pretty obscene. I don't see why there can't be more attractive shoes in medium to low heels or flats that don't look either too young or too matronly.

  5. I read that women's heel heights are almost perfectly inversely proportional to their educational attainment. So what's up with the ever higher heels? Are more women dropping out from school and taking up streetwalking?

    I see an interesting parallel to the SUV craze. There is a competition to be higher and higher, until pesky physical laws assert themselves.

  6. Anonymous20:40

    Hmm. I'm a college grad with some graduate school education too, but in my 30s I loved high heels. I wore 3" heels at work pretty much daily, and when I went out too. But I pretty much dressed to the nines in general back then.

    At some point in my 40s I started giving up on things, and among the things I let go of almost entirely was my obsession with clothing. I started dressing completely differently: casual pants only. I got rid of ALL my skirts and dresses, as well as dressier pants that "required" heels of any height.

    Along with this change went all my high heels. I switched to flats and have never looked back.

    But I agree that the selection of flats is wanting. It would be nice to have more interesting options in flats.