February 8 – April 13, 2013
Shoe Obsession examined our cultures ever-growing fascination with extravagant and fashionable shoes. Designer shoes have overtaken It bags as the most coveted fashion accessories. In response, shoe departments in major department stores have undergone significant expansions, and the great designer shoe wars have escalated. Shoes by established designers such as Manolo Blahnik and Christian Louboutin continue to be bestsellers, while the number of rising stars within the footwear industry is multiplying. Over the past decade, heels have reached new heights as have prices. High-heeled shoes—the fashion shoes of the 21st century have become so tall that even a 4-inch heel is considered low.Shoe Obsession featured approximately 150 examples of contemporary footwear, highlighting the extreme, lavish, and imaginative styles that have made shoes central to fashion.
The exhibition included work by prominent footwear labels such as Manolo Blahnik, Salvatore Ferragamo, Christian Louboutin, and Roger Vivier, as well as shoes from influential design houses, including Azzedine Alaa, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, and Prada. Avant-garde designers such as Kei Kagami and Noritaka Tatehana—who have made some of the most extreme shoes of the 21st century—further underscore the exceptional creativity of contemporary shoe design. Shoe Obsession also included highlights from the incredible shoe collections of several stylish women, including jewelry designer Lynn Ban and fashion icon Daphne Guinness. The exhibition was curated by Dr. Valerie Steele, director and chief curator, and Colleen Hill, associate curator of accessories.
Read more about Shoe Obsession.