Forget About Skyscraper Heels, Louis Vuitton’s Empowering Women With Flat Boots for Fall ’19

Willow Smith, Emma Stone and the rest of the attendees at the Louis Vuitton show last night in Paris might have been forgiven for thinking they had strayed into the Centre Pompidou instead of designated venue, the Louvre. But no. Nicolas Ghesquière had tapped Pompidou architect Renzo Piano for permission to build a mini (ish) replica bank in the middle of the museum’s Cour Carrée.

The Pompidou is famous for its primary-colored pipework and the reds, blues, greens and yellows of the fall collection — not least the woven leather ankle boots with their Western-inflected hardware — proved a perfect match.

About those boots. They were basically flat. As was the rest of the footwear offering, but unlike Willow Smith and friends gamely wearing their Archlights in the front row, when it came to the runway, there wasn’t a sneaker to be seen. Instead, the shoe offering was all about aforementioned boots, chunky punky androgynous lace-ups.

This is what Nicolas Ghesquière had to say about them backstage after the show. “It’s very urban silhouette. I was thinking how much in the past we put women in very high heels thinking that was going to empower them and how every season now we’re putting them in flat shoes.”

“There’s now no question that the silhouette will not be as strong as if they were wearing high heels. I love heels but they don’t always add something to the silhouette.”

He equated this change in attitude to opinions on the Centre Pompidou itself. “It’s interesting that it was so controversial when it was first built but now it’s became so iconic for the Parisian landscape,” he mused. “The eyes get used to it and we evolve.”

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