Who was able to rock heels like no other? Prince, of course. In fact, high heels (literally) elevated him as an enduring style icon. Though fashion undoubtedly played a big role in Prince’s image, his aesthetic was never a go-to source of inspiration for designers. His subversion of prescribed social norms pushed boundaries. So much so that he became inaccessible—an oddity—to many. But Prince was an artist who transformed the apparent tropes of kitsch femininity—lace, ruffles, sequins and high heels—into the messengers of masculine sex-appeal. For this, his influence was enormous.
Most of this influence can be summed up by his shoes.
High heels were a constant throughout Prince’s career. For the decades he was in the public eye, he wore them religiously. He wore them so often, it was rumoured he needed hip surgery. And he said he wore them, not because he wanted to be taller, but because ‘women like ‘em.’ On women, heels suggest sex; Prince showed they could work the same way for men. He questioned our ideas about gender fluidity and, in wearing heels so regularly, he changed the idea of men in heels from joke to possibility.