Snob Essentials

Giuseppe Zanotti Crystal-Coated Platform Pumps: History Repeating Itself

Hot pink, Swarovski crystal-studded six-inch wedges! These Giuseppe sparklers look like they’ve traveled back in time from the future, but the truth is that their history is rooted firmly in the past. Platform shoes made their debut in the theaters of Ancient Greece (style really does come back around!). Tragic actors wore elevated wood/cork sandals called “kothorni” to play characters of nobility. Art is said to imitate life, but it was the other way around when Roman nobility started walking around in the platforms. Later on in the sixteenth century, Catherine d’Medici wore custom 2” slip-ons called “chopines” (check out a pair from the Renaissance below) for her wedding to the Duke of Orleans. And the style was just not reserved for the fairer sex! Around the same time in the Qing dynasty, a Chinese nobleman named Manchu sported platform sandals (how did they know what the trends were without the Internet?!).

This type of shoe was so difficult to walk in that Roman noblewomen had to be escorted down the streets holding the hands of their servants. So, if you do decide to get these modern-day chopines, I highly suggest hiring shoe valets for the evening. Ankle straps alone will not be enough! Available at Saks Fifth Avenue for $2,195.



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