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A kitten heel
is a short, slender heel
A heel is the projection at the back of a shoe which rests below the heel bone. The shoe heel is used to improve the balance of the shoe or for decorative purposes. Sometimes raised, the high heel is common to a form of shoe often worn by women but sometimes by men too. See also stiletto heel.-...
, usually from 3.5 centimeters (1.5 inches) to 4.75 centimeters (1.75 inches) high with a slight curve setting the heel in from the edge of the shoe. The style was popularized by Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn was a British actress and humanitarian. Although modest about her acting ability, Hepburn remains one of the world's most famous actresses of all time, remembered as a film and fashion icon of the twentieth century...
Kitten heels are small heels of 4.75 centimeters or less in height; some are as low as 3 centimeters. They are classified as stiletto heel
A stiletto heel is a long, thin, high heel found on some boots and shoes, usually for women. It is named after the stiletto dagger, the phrase being first recorded in the early 1930s...
s and despite their lack of height are generally classified as high heels because of their sex appeal, particularly when teamed with a sharp-pointed toe or long winklepicker
Winklepickers are a style of shoe or boot worn from the 1950s onward by male and female British rock and roll fans...
toe. This is an anomaly because a shoe or pump with regular wide heels of 1.5 inches high would be considered a flat shoe; it is the addition of a stiletto heel, however short, that turns it into a sexual accessory.
They were introduced in the late 1950s as formal fashion attire for young adolescent teenage girls as higher heels would have been considered unseemly for girls as young as 13 because of the sexual connotations and unease of walk. They were sometimes referred to as "trainer heels" in the US, indicating their use in getting young girls used to wearing high heels. However, by the early 1960s, they became fashionable for older teenagers and eventually for women of all ages until the demise of the stiletto heel in the late 1960s. They emerged again in the 1980s along with wedge heels and have become once again fashionable since 2003, but are not made in abundance due to the preference for Stiletto heels by women during this time period. Manolo Blahnik
Manuel "Manolo" Blahnik Rodríguez CBE, , is a Spanish fashion designer and founder of the self-named, high-end shoe brand.-Biography:Born to a Czech father and a Spanish mother and born and raised in the Canary Islands , Blahnik graduated from the University of Geneva in 1965 and studied art in Paris...
has added kitten heeled shoes to his collection, saying that his famous high stilettos have been so often copied that he was inspired to create a heel at a new, shorter height.