The History of Kitten Heels: From Classic to Contemporary

Kitten heels are a forever bestseller for Mandarina shoes, a style that's always managed to strike a balance between being timeless, elegant and versatile. A beloved choice for the fashion-conscious women all around the globe.

Feminine, pretty and comfortable the charm of kitten heels is something to be celecrated, so let's take a closer look at the journey of the kitten heel shoe, from their origins in the 1950s to their modern-day popularity.

The Origins of Kitten Heel Shoes

The story of kitten heels begins in the 50s, a time when Christian Dior, are making a name for themselves. It was the Christian Dior brand who introduced kitten heels to the world, the 'kitten keel' measuring between 1.5 and 2 inches, were originally designed to help younger girls get used to wearing heels before graduating to higher stilettos. But it wasn't just young girls who fell in love with them, and one of the biggest icons at the time was Audrey Hepburn. With her mesmerising charm, Hepburn often wore kitten heels, both on-screen and off and it was her love for kitten heel shoes that helped catapult them into the mainstream and made them a must-have item for any woman seeking a modern, chic AND comfortable footwear option.

Aubrey Hepburn Kitten Heels

Kitten Heels Through the Decades

As the decades rolled on, so did the kitten heel shoe! In the swinging '60s, kitten heels perfectly complemented the era's short skirts and bold patterns and were a firm fave of the mod fashion scene. Kitten heels remained the fotwear of choice for anyone wanting to stay on-trend without the discomfort of higher heels.

 In the 70s and 80s, the rise of platform shoes and sky-high stilettos, did push kitten heels into the background, but they never truly disappeared. The hardcore fans, and those who appreciated their understated elegance and comfort continued to wear them, keeping the style alive through the years!!

The Kitten Heel is Back

By the early 2000s, kitten heels were ready for their well-timed comeback. Noughties Fashion designers began to reimagine the kitten heel with bolder colours, newer materials, and unique designs breathed new life into these classic shoes. This renewed interest was part of a larger trend towards practical yet stylish fashion.

Fast forward to the Twenty-Twenties and kitten heel shoes are more popular than ever. Always a fixture on runways, embraced by designers and worn every day by women of all ages. The ultimate day-to-night transition shoe can be worn in casual or formal settings, meaning the kitten heel has firmly earned its place in modern wardrobes.

Y2K Kitten Heels

What makes kitten heels so Timeless

Well, it's got to be the age-old, perfect combo of style and comfort. Unlike taller-heeled shoes, kitten heels are a breeze to walk in, making them great for occasions such as weddings where you are on your feet for a long time. Kitten Heels add elegance to any outfit, but they won't steal the spotlight. Kitten heels are incredibly adaptable and go with so many different outfits. Wear your favourite kitten heels with everything from jeans and a blazer to a fancy party dress. Their versatility guarantees that they'll always be useful, regardless of other ever-changing trends in fashion and investing in a top quality pair of kitten heels is always a good idea!

audrey hepburn kitten heel shoes

Kitten Heels at Mandarina Shoes

All our designer kitten heel shoes are designed exclusively by Mandarina Shoes in the UK and made for us in limited edition collections in Italy, Spain and Vietnam. They are high quality and truly unique. If you are looking for beautiful, unusual kitten heel shoes of the very best quality, you are in the right place. You can take a look at our full collection here, including our very own Audrey Hepburn kitten heel inspired design, "The Hollie". If you are looking for wedding kitten heels, try our white sling back kitten heels, possibly the prettiest wedding shoes on the market for under £200. Best sellers include these velvet kitten heel court shoes, hot pink suede kitten heel court shoes, and these black kitten heel shoes that we like to call the very best black evening shoes ever!!! Take a look at the full kitten heel collection here, and don't hesitate to get in touch if you would like style or size advise from our shoe loving experts.

Back to Blog