Louboutins – Pain or Pleasure?
Christian Louboutin – should we suffer for his art?
The French shoe designer last week dismissed the women that suffer in his heels, saying “if you can’t walk in them, don’t wear them”. As TRISHA DOYLE explains, he’s clearly never walked a mile in his own shoes.
In case you missed it, Christian Louboutin doesn’t really care if his heels hurt the women who wear them. In an interview with Grazia last week he acknowledged that his gorgeous heels weren’t designed with your comfort in mind: “High heels are pleasure with pain. If you can’t walk in them, don’t wear them.”
He’s clearly never walked a mile in his own shoes, but it’s hardly out of character with an industry that appears to hold so little regard for its primary consumers. High heel walking is painful, women don’t need a designer to tell them that. What they need is for the industry which they spend hundreds of billions of dollars on to at least try and do something about it.
The UK fashion industry alone is worth £21bn to the British economy, and the estimated worth of the global fashion industry is somewhere around $2,000bn. A pair of Louboutins will cost you, conservatively, somewhere in the region of €600 as a starting point. They’re mighty pretty but despite the old saying ‘you get what you pay for’, there’s no reprieve for your feet when it comes to the damage heels of any price can inflict.
The report even suggested women who wore high heels regularly were doing untold damage to other areas such as the back and even, potentially, putting a strain on areas such as the heart – pretty grim reading.
An Australian study earlier this year looked at women who regularly wore heels and found that they were doing their calf muscles permanent damage by increasing the mechanical strain on the muscles, not to mention foot problems like bunions and corns. The report even suggested women were doing untold damage to other areas such as the back and even, potentially, putting a strain on areas such as the heart – pretty grim reading. And then there’s the social limitations heels place on women: taking corners slowly, avoiding cobbled stones at all costs, a limp wiggle on the dance floor (Beyonce-style moves are out of the question) and of course climbing stairs at a pensioner’s pace.
So how do you justify paying upwards of around €600 for a pair of shoes when the designer says he doesn’t want to make life any easier for you? Surely when women as a demographic are spending so much on shoes, designers should be taking their comfort and long term health into consideration? Unfortunately, the answer seems to be a resounding “non”.
What do you think? Should designers be trying to make life easier or are heels worth the pain? Let us know in the comments below.
Trisha Doyle for stylesiren.ie