Shoes: The Meaning of Style
Elizabeth Semmelhack


Paperback | Apr 2019 | REAKTION BOOKS | 9781789140804 | 368pp | 234x164mm | Forthcoming | GEN | AUD$29.99, NZD$34.99


We all make choices every day about which shoes to wear, but why do we choose the shoes we do? Organised around four main types — boots, sneakers, high heels and sandals — Shoes: The Meaning of Style explores the history of shoes and how different types of footwear have come to mean different things about the people who wear them.

Along the way Elizabeth Semmelhack reveals the anecdotes and scandals, successes and failures, dislikes and obsessions of the makers, wearers and observers who helped to create the movements and fashions of footwear. Beautifully illustrated throughout, Shoes is a thoroughly surprising history of an everyday item that will appeal not only to followers of fashion, but to those interested in social history and identity.

'Elizabeth Semmelhack’s work sheds a new and fascinating light on footwear, looking at its social significance and how it has changed over the years. It is an absolute must for those interested in the subject.’ — Manolo Blahnik

‘This book shows us all the fashion, art, and design that allowed shoes to become a powerful cultural phenomenon. From the feet to the street to the commercial mountain peaks!’ — Darryl ‘dmc’ McDaniels