Ode to slingbacks, beloved shoes perfect for spring

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Do we have classic shoes that always manage to reinvent themselves? Of course, since we’re talking about slingback. If their origin dates back to the late 30s and early 40s, when pin-ups began to appear on the feet, leaving bare ankles and exposed heels combined with short skirts and shorts, the most famous, are without a doubt the two-tones created by Coco Chanel in 1957.

A pin up in 1939. Photo Getty

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Chanel Spring / Summer 1975. Photo Getty


Two-tone and with a contrasting tip, designed to optically lengthen the legs, since the late 1950s they have been spotted at the feet of all the most iconic celebs starting from Brigitte Bardot and Jackie Kennedy up to Lady Diana. With a heel between five and eight centimeters, they maintain the original shape designed by Massaro, the French “shoemaker” spearhead of the Métiers d’Arts taken over by the Maison in 2022. Still today, after 65 years, Chanel slingbacks retain their cult status and are considered one of the mythological deluxe purchases like Hermès bags and Manolo Blahnik pumps.

Lady Diana in 1988. Photo Getty

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If that of Chanel is a legend, comfortable and trés chic, the slingback in the version with stiletto heel represents a real ode to female seduction. Let’s think of the most famous model of this type, that is the one worn by Marilyn Monroe in one of the most iconic scenes of the 20th century: in When the wife is on vacation the white dress flutters and a pair of white sandals with strap, designed by Salvatore Ferragamo, emerge at the feet of the diva.

Marilyn Monroe in the famous scene from When the wife is on vacation. Getty photo


In the 21st century, the slingback has helped make many runways legendary. Give her décolleté J’adior by Dior from Maria Grazia Chiuri’s debut show as creative director of the French fashion house in 2017 to the first co-designed collection by Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada for Spring / Summer 2021, where all the models’ looks were combined with futuristic slingbacks in sherbet colors.

Dior Spring / Summer 2017. Photo Getty


Prada Spring / Summer 2021. Photo Imaxtree

The most famous today? Perhaps the Begum embellished with crystals that made the name of Amina Muaddi as the most googled shoe designer of 2021 (beloved, among other celebs, by Rihanna).

Amina Muaddi’s slingback (you can buy it here)

An endless love, therefore, why a slingback will always be there for us when the décolleté will seem too formal and the sandals too summer, when the pedicure will not be flawless (we are human, not perfect) or the length of the pants will require exposed heels (the illusion of having smaller feet and longer legs is just one of the its wonderful qualities).

And then there really is something for all tastes because the fascinating footwear has taken on, as we have seen, many different shapes over the years. On the catwalks of the 2022 season, Saint Laurent proposed slingbacks with a sharp toe and high colored stiletto heels, for the more bon ton Michael Kors has created models equipped with black patent leather kitten heels, Miu Miu has taken up the two-tone cue but equips the her pointed toe shoes and golden pennies, while Gucci filled them with crystals (you can find all these models in the gallery).

In short, whatever the choice is, it will always be a safe investment. Whether you prefer a contemporary or classic version, slingbacks are here to stay, as well as being the perfect shoes to retune your feet in the summer.

Take a look at the gallery, ladies: low, high, chunky, stiletto or kitten heels, make your choice.

Other stories of Vanity Fair that may interest you:

– The 50 must-have shoes of Spring / Summer 2022
– The hottest sandals of the season? The slippers with fur
– Boots: welcome back square toe!


Source: Vanity Fair

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