Remember when Phoebe Philo inspired the fashion industry to stomp around in Stan Smiths? When Karl Lagerfeld put trainers on the couture catwalk, while high-heel devote Victoria Beckham took to brogues? Or how about the moment the French Vogue set swapped their 6in lattice sandals for front-row flats? (See the gloriously titled feature: “Carine [Roitfeld] finally finds a flat shoe she can work with.”)
In short, the fashion industry has been shuffling around in the comfort of flat shoes for quite some time. And now, Barbie has caught up. The new Fashionista Barbie wears chunky sandals and gladiator sandals, made possible through adjustable ankles. Finally, she is free from the tyranny of permanent tiptoes.
So many questions: Is this a sign of progress or just a cynical bid for PR? Is it weird that Barbie was given flat feet for fashion reasons, but not when running for president? Either way, it seems, Mattel’s 12in idealisation of the female form has a better grasp of current style trends – and even feminism – than the bouncers at Cannes.