High-Heeled Shoes for Men Made Trendy by the Persian King in the 9th Century!

It seems like everybody got very fascinated after Elizabeth Semmehack stated that Persians invented high-heeled shoes for men in the 9th century! At least we were!

Elizabeth Semmehack, curator at the Beta Shoe Museum, traces the high heel to horse riders in the Near East who used high heels for functionality because they helped hold the rider’s foot in stirrups. She states that this footwear is depicted on a 9th-century ceramic bowl from Persia (modern-day Iran). “The high heel was worn for centuries throughout the near east as a form of riding footwear. When the soldier stood up in his stirrups, the heel helped him to secure his stance so that he could shoot his bow and arrow more effectively” says Elizabeth Semmelhack.

These interesting facts were published on BBC by William Kremer yesterday:
“At the end of the 16th Century, Persia’s Shah Abbas I had the largest cavalry in the world. He was keen to forge links with rulers in Western Europe to help him defeat his great enemy, the Ottoman Empire. So in 1599, Abbas sent the first Persian diplomatic mission to Europe – it called on the courts of Russia, Germany and Spain. A wave of interest in all things Persian passed through Western Europe. Persian style shoes were enthusiastically adopted by aristocrats, who sought to give their appearance a virile, masculine edge that, it suddenly seemed, only heeled shoes could supply. 
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The heels and soles were always red – the dye was expensive and carried a martial overtone. The fashion soon spread overseas – Charles II of England’s coronation portrait of 1661 features him wearing a pair of enormous red, French style heels – although he was over 6ft (1.85m) to begin with. A wave of interest in all things Persian passed through Western Europe. Persian style shoes were enthusiastically adopted by aristocrats, who sought to give their appearance a virile, masculine edge that, it suddenly seemed, only heeled shoes could supply.

In the 1670s, Louis XIV issued an edict that only members of his court were allowed to wear red heels. In theory, all anyone in French society had to do to check whether someone was in favour with the king was to glance downwards. In practice, unauthorised, imitation heels were available.” To read the whole article, click here.

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Interesting, huh?! Speaking of Persians and the art of shoe making, we’d like to mention one of the biggest talents of handmade shoe-making in Tehran, called Saman Handmade Leather. Inspired by Persian Eastern cultures, Saman uses premium quality Persian leathers and suede and makes his wearable art completely by hand. Saman is an independent designer/artisan and well popular and respected in the underground fashion scene of Tehran. We are lucky to have him on board on ALANGOO.com. Some of his accessories such as handmade bags will be showcased soon on the platform. See some of his designs here. 

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