By HILARY GREENBAUM and DANA RUBINSTEIN
Published: April 13, 2012
But it was after World War II that the stiletto took hold. Soldiers who spent years abroad dreaming of high-heeled pinups, one historian wrote, came home to wives whose wartime work required more sensible shoes. As women returned to domestic life, higher heels could, and did, become all the rage. From the 1950s’ froth of experimentation, the stiletto was born.
“Some credit Ferragamo, others Roger Vivier or Perugia,” says Valerie Steele, chief curator of the museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. “I suspect the stiletto was developed by more than one Italian shoemaker, perhaps in association with French designers.”
Historically, it's not unprecedented. As the Times pointed out, heels were de rigueur in pre-Napoleonic France. Men of all stripes paired platform shoes with their bell bottoms during the 1970s. The latest iteration finds guys in shoes built for gals.