Cloth $40.00 ISBN: 9781780238340 Will Publish December 2017 For sale in North and South America only

Shoes

The Meaning of Style

Elizabeth Semmelhack

Shoes

Elizabeth Semmelhack

Distributed for Reaktion Books

320 pages | 160 color plates, 15 halftones | 7 x 9
Cloth $40.00 ISBN: 9781780238340 Will Publish December 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Today, buying shoes, wearing shoes, and collecting shoes is for many of us a habit that borders on fetish. Shoe lover or not, we all make choices every day about which shoes to wear. But why do we choose the footwear we do?

In Shoes: The Meaning of Style, Elizabeth Semmelhack explores the history of shoes and how different types of footwear have come to say varying things about the people who wear them. Organized around four main shoe types—boots, sneakers, high heels, and sandals—the book explains their origins, the impact of technology on how shoes are produced and worn, and explores their designs, describing how shoes now have social meaning far beyond their use to protect the foot. She considers how some footwear has been used to protect power structures and perpetuate cultural values, while other footwear has been worn in protest of prevailing cultural norms despite simultaneously being an unabashed product of consumer capitalism.  Along the way, Semmelhack reveals the scandals, successes, and obsessions of the designers and consumers that have built the juggernaut shoe industry.

Beautifully illustrated throughout, Shoes is a surprising history of an everyday piece of attire. It will appeal not only to followers of fashion, but to those interested in social history and identity.
 
Review Quotes
Manolo Blahnik
“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.”
Darryl DMC McDaniels
“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! And the chapter on sneakers represents how sneakers became not just a fact of life, but a way of life.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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