A matter of paragraph

No more stilettos, says Mademoiselle Lili, dismantling her shoe closet for Fashion Week in Paris. And Christian Louboutin now also recommends high heels for men.

When I came to Paris more than ten years ago, the world was different. Everywhere I looked the women were wearing heels. In the subway, they tottered along the endless tunnels in front of me or, trying to keep their composure, wobbled over the crooked, medieval cobblestones in front of the Saint-Germain des-Prés church for a business lunch in the Café de Flore. The real Parisian and the tourist – you should recognize them by their shoes.


For my first fashion weeks, I upgraded my wardrobe accordingly: I afforded my first statement shoes with the red sole and the steel-reinforced pickaxe like an exclamation mark: the stiletto, the heel named after a dagger. shoes as weapons. But at the end of a long day, from one fashion show to the next, they mainly became weapons against myself. After several hours, I would have loved to crawl home on all fours at 12 centimeters. How was that with the little mermaid who really wanted to have long legs? Every step she took was, as the witch had predicted, like stepping on sharp needles and sharp knives.

In the meantime, Paris has changed: large shopping streets such as Rue de Rivoli have become wide bicycle highways. Even at the most neuralgic points of self-portrayal, in front of the Fashion Week catwalks, the women show up in flat, aka comfortable shoes, without sacrificing the fashion statement. There is enough choice today: every luxury house has long had outrageously expensive and eccentric sneakers in its range, Hermès is launching trekking sandals with leather stockings and Birkenstock is making its third slip-on collection with goth guru Rick Owens.

And in the course of wokeness, the whole world is discussing whether it is still possible to wear high heels with a clear political conscience and at the same time stand up for more women's rights. A credibly modern, emancipated woman or an object of desire who submits to male fantasies – you should recognize them by their shoes.

The god of stilettos now intervenes personally in this debate: Christian Louboutin. But not by flattening women, but by elevating men as well. His first gender-neutral collection, Our Angels, which hits boutiques late January/early February, puts both on the same pedestal. Platform ankle boots with high heels for him and her: In classic black, with a leopard pattern or in bright yellow suede decorated with elaborate crystal embroidery - from size 36 to 46. Greetings from the glam rock era! "These models are bold and uncompromising, an eloquent celebration of inclusivity and the joy of being who you want," says Louboutin.

The designer has often used his shoe fashion as a political statement: He makes nude pumps for all skin colors or designed a collection for the benefit of anti-racist organizations with Sabrina and Idris Elba in the course of “Black Lives Matter”. It remains to be seen whether the high heels will actually become the new hit among men. Fashion is never logical and seldom reasonable.

In any case, I've made my decision: I won't go out of the house in stilettos anymore, and heels of eight centimeters or more aren't really for me either. Many of my favorite shoes are now sorted out for resale on the usual second-hand platforms. Not because I'm woke. Not because I don't allow men to have fun. It's simply because I can't enjoy myself and move freely with aching feet.