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The History of Kitten Heels

Kitten heels got their start with the diminutive Louis XIV, who upped his stature by wearing small heels (red heels were his trademark). The heel-wearing trend caught on among other kings and eventually led to a ruling that forbade anyone outside of Court from wearing them. Over time, the royal trend faded, but kitten heels became popular once again in the 1950s. They were so named because they were considered training heels for “kittens,” or young girls who weren’t quite ready to wear tall stilettos, which were becoming popular at the time. Despite their initial status as training heels, kitten heels garnered quite a lot of popularity in their own right, especially in the 1960s. This was partially because the trending Beatnik and Mod lifestyles, which emphasized dancing and alternative society, were far better complemented by kitten heels than restrictive stilettos. More recently, kitten heels exploded in popularity during the 1990s, when supermodels were seen wearing them both on and off the runway. Later, First Lady Michelle Obama frequently wore kitten heels, which helped to solidify their timeless, elegant appeal. Today, ’90s trends are once again on the rise and kitten heels are poised to make yet another fashion comeback.

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