New Exhibition Explores Sartorial History of Men in High Heels

Collection of the Bata Shoe Museum. Photo credit: Image © 2015 Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada

An exhibition focusing on high heels for men opened at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto last week.

Standing Tall: The Curious History of Men in Heels explores heeled shoes for men throughout the ages. From Persian slip-ons from the 17th Century, to Ferradini glam rock seven inch, silver stacked, platforms worn by Elton John to a modern, secret, inserted “lift,” the masculine high-heeled shoe is elevated to art status through this exhibition in Toronto.

The museum, which specializes in footwear of all kinds, was founded by Sonja Bata in 1995, thus celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year. Mrs Bata gained an interest in footwear through her husband who inherited a shoe business. Wanting to assist him in any way she could she started to travel to explore the different relationships that people have with footwear all over the world.

“…shoes are part of the material culture and they reflect your own cultural tastes and status in society and your upbringing, your village, your region your climate–all these various things. It becomes totally fascinating.” Sonja Bata told The Globe and Mail.

The Bata Shoe Museum is host to one of the largest ethnological collections of footwear on the planet.

“Standing Tall: The Curious History of Men in Heels” is on view at the Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario , M5S 1W7, Canada,  from May 8th 2015- May 2016.

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