High-heeled flip flops are back
The season’s hottest shoe is guaranteed to turn heads — and probably a couple of ankles, too.
Stars such as Kim Kardashian, Rihanna and Emily Ratajkowski are stepping out in spindly high-heeled flip-flops. These polarizing slip-ons have come back from the late ’90s to haunt us, but unlike so many other footwear trends from that decade — think Birkenstocks, Converse and Dr. Martens — these throwback shoes aren’t exactly a walk in the park.
In fact, they’re borderline impossible to get around in, as The Post discovered during a recent road test of a pair of split-toed stilettos through the New York City subway system.
And yet, they’re “the sandal of the summer,” Gerard Maione, founder of the celeb-beloved vintage haven, What Goes Around Comes Around, tells The Post.
So, how did these Frankenflops force their way back into fashion?
In retrospect, it seems to have started with regular flips — the flat, unstylish, rubbery kind — somehow becoming acceptable to wear beyond the beach.
“Flip-flops are the ultimate feel-good shoe, often reminiscent of summer memories and happy times,” says Eno Polo, US President of the Brazil-based brand Havaianas, which sells over 300 different styles of sandals and flip-flops. “With a clean, classic silhouette, it’s a perfect canvas to manipulate and make work with any outfit.”
Apparently, the fashion world agrees. Earlier this month, edgy label Saint Laurent teamed up with Havaianas to create a high-end version of their classic beach shoe. Before that, in 2016, flip-flops started appearing on the spring runways for top designers such as Michael Kors, Alexander Wang and Isabel Marant.
Even Vogue’s notoriously discerning editrix Anna Wintour approves: “I love a flip-flop,” she admitted in a Vogue-produced video in June.
But leave it to Rihanna to take the trend to new heights.
For her spring 2018 Fenty x Puma motorcross-inspired collection, the “Wild Thoughts” singer sent a pair of sporty yet vertiginous ’flops down the runway. The controversial footwear featured the flip-flop’s classic rubber thongs but with an added 4-inch block heel and a thick Velcro ankle strap for extra security. Consumers were understandably skeptical of the bad gal’s trend-forecasting abilities, criticizing the shoe as, “ugly as hell,” while another fan on Twitter added, “I will support everything @rihanna will do or will ever do in the future — except the Puma flip flop heels.”
Despite the backlash, chic brands started following Rihanna’s lead. Gianvito Rossi, Simon Miller and Reformation all sell versions of the towering sandals. Then, they became the unlikely go-to shoe for Kim Kardashian. In fact, the reality star even wore a pair from her husband Kanye West’s Yeezy fashion line in a photo promoting the 2018 March For Our Lives rally in Washington, DC, posting a shot of herself balancing in them on her Instagram, alongside the inadvertently comical call to action, “Let’s march!”
Now, the faddish flip-flops are joining the ranks of other pretty-ugly shoes — including Balenciaga’s dad sneakers and Christopher Kane’s rhinestone-encrusted, mink-lined Crocs — that have caused customers to check conventional good taste at the door.
And according to Maione, these silly slip-ons are going to live on long past Labor Day, like it or not. Thanks to influencers and the shoe’s “easily wearable nature . . . the kitten heel/flip-flop hybrid doesn’t appear to be going anywhere,” he says.
Source: Read Full Article