Accepting men in heels
King Louis XIV of France declared high heels to be only fit for noble people but a lot has changed since the seventeenth century. Since then, heels have been predominantly worn by women for a number of reasons: They change the angle of the foot with respect to the lower leg, which accentuates the appearance of calves, they change the wearer's posture, requiring a more upright stance and also alter the gait in what is considered a seductive fashion. High heels make the wearer appear taller, make the legs appear longer, make the foot appear smaller and the toes appear shorter.
So why did it flip from men (royalty) wearing high heels to women wearing them? High heels provide all the added benefits to both genders it’s just in this day and age both genders do not tend to wear them.
Today, there is a market for high heels for men but they tend to be women’s heels in larger sizes and they tend to be aimed at men that like to dress up as women. What about the current day equivalent of King Louis? Surely there are men out there that crave a bit of height, a bit more femininity or maybe some more presence in the room.
What about the concept of a pair of shoes with a heel that has been designed for men to look like a men’s shoe. Who would wear it and where? Would the shoe be the type of fashion accessory that could be worn in the work place or out to a social event.
Fashion taking a turn?
We think that men want the opportunity to keep the identity of menswear but add the benefits of a heel. Who doesn’t want to look more attractive or improve their posture? Who doesn’t want to look like they have longer legs and a seductive gait?
Cross Sword wants to explore these possibilities. We are researching what men want and we are providing for a market that has long been forgotten. Mixing todays fashion with the elegance of a heel will hopefully provide men with the opportunity to explore a side that they previously could not.
The question is; what will it take to accept men in heels? Will a workplace accept a man in a nice suit and a pair of Cross Sword high heels as easily as they would a woman wearing a nice pair of pumps? We are interested to see how well work place stereotypes will be a barrier to men expressing their individuality. We would like to think that men will be accepted by their colleagues and their bosses but the sad truth is that there may be a demographic of colleagues that will find it difficult to deal with. This is a well know issue and one that minority groups have bee struggling with for ever.
Being open and being proud
We are making progress in this area and every day equal rights are being fought for. The good news is that over time things have changed and they will continue to change. Products such as Cross Sword shoes help men express themselves and demonstrate to others that they are not afraid to challenge the norm. It is inevitable that colleagues that will have prejudices against the fashion accessory will eventually have to change their mindset. There is only so long a fish can swim against the flow before it tires.