Rumour has it the high heel is dead. Some blame the global pandemic; others predicted its decline years ago.
Birkenstock’s revenue tripled in 2017, with 2020 Q2 sales of the Arizona sandal jumping by 225% (Lyst). And foam clogs, Crocs, held steady at $1bn (€850m) to $1.2bn (€1bn) annually since 2011 (The Business of Fashion).
Niche success stories, like Amina Muaddi — whose capsule line of crystal-embellished party shoes for luxury online retailer, MyTheresa, sold out in hours mid-pandemic — may be Forbes-worthy, but in the world of public transport versus private planes, the reality falls flat.
As Carolyn Mair, PhD,behavioural psychologist and author of The Psychology of Fashion, says, “During the pandemic, many women turned to athleisure and elasticated-waisted trousers, flat shoes, and even slippers, as their go-to clothing when working from home, because their intentions were to get the job/s done.”
Although typically applied to non-essential purchases, perhaps the concept of splurging and future-proofing our footwear could find commonality.