Developed in the 15th and 16th century the chopines were popular in
Europe and especially popular with Venetian
women. The shoes were made in order to keep women and men from stepping in mud,
water and waste that lay in the streets.
They started out as a practical idea but over time got higher and higher and became a statues symbol. Noble women began to wear them up to eighteen inches high and needed servants to support them. Chopines became a fashion statement during the Renaissance, with cobblers creating increasingly taller styles and adding more elaborate designs. Many of the shoes were decorated with leather, brocade, velvet, and jewels.
In the late 15th century writer Alfonso Martínez de Toledo’s lamented that there was hardly enough cork in
to satisfy women’s demands for chopines and that by his estimation chopines had
risen as high as an elbow.
Here are some modern chopines that recently graced the worlds runways.
To see and learn more about chopines click on the links below.