The long history of heels: from a symbol of men’s power to women’s burden

An upcoming exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s museum reveals how shoemakers have created footwear that is poorly designed for movement—on purpose.

When I brought my newborn home from the hospital, I picked out a special outfit for her, including tiny leather moccasins. My husband thought the shoes were a little silly, given that she wouldn’t be able to walk for a year. But that was beside the point: Most shoes that carry us through life aren’t designed for walking at all.

An upcoming exhibition at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, located on the New York City campus of the Fashion Institute of Technology, makes my point. Called Shoes: Anatomy, Identity, Magic, the exhibit reveals that our relationship with footwear goes well beyond the physical, performing social and psychological functions as well. The exhibition features more than 300 pairs of shoes, boots, and sneakers from the MFIT permanent collection and spans nearly 500 years of fashion history. Read more at Fast Company.