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Shoes – Sexy Heels or Easy Sandals

Start Date 01 February 2014
End Date 11 May 2014
Venue Kunsthal Rotterdam
Location Rotterdam, Netherlands
Curator Kenneth Ramaekers and Inge Specht
Designer Lien Wauters
In collaboration with Modemuseum, Hasselt
Exhibition display of shoes on boxes

In the spring of 2014, the Kunsthal Rotterdam (Netherlands) exhibited the design of the women’s shoe from 1900 until then. SHOES ‘- Sexy Heels or Easy Sandals – showcased almost 450 shoes by coryphées including shoe designers André Perugia and Salvatore Ferragamo, international’ star designers’ such as Manolo Blahnik and Christian Louboutin, and by contemporary and young up-and-coming talent.

Shoes as true works of art and made at a high craftsmanship level: from Victorian boots to tempting slippers and from pumps to the most futuristic creations. The incredible variety and creativity of numerous shoe designs is a feast for the eyes and makes the exhibition SHOES an irresistible ‘must-see’ for anyone with a passion for fashion and design.


Throughout the years, the hovering heel, open heel, platform sole, ankle straps, bows and other decorations have alternated in the fashion scene. Designers constantly experiment with different shapes, materials, colors and comfort. Cross-pollination and looking back on previous fashion images go hand in hand with new experiments. The elegance of the ladies’ shoe is being stretched further and further, and the height of the heel is rising to 15 cm. Innovative technologies and materials, such as microfibers, elastic and synthetic materials, result in extreme forms and sometimes even highly erotic shoes. With the emergence of ‘couturier’ fashion houses and their designers, the women’s shoe evolves from seduction object to ultimate status symbol. Just as actress Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City swears by her Manolo Blahniks,


who has been among the international top since the early 1970s. Well-known contemporary designers from the Netherlands and Belgium will also be featured in SHOES, including Rem D. Koolhaas, Jan Taminiau and young talents Katrien Herdewijn and Nienke van Dee (winner of the Global Footwear Design Award 2013).

The exhibition is a collaboration with Modemuseum Hasselt (adaptation of ‘ In Her Shoes ‘, 2009, curator Kenneth Ramaekers) and the shoes come from collections of Modemuseum Hasselt, Musée Internationale de la Chaussure (Romans), Museo Salvatore Ferragamo (Florence), Bata Shoe Museum (Toronto), Dutch Leather and Shoe Museum (Waalwijk) and National Footwear Museum (Izegem, Belgium).

Curator: Kenneth Ramaekers

Co-curator: Inge Specht

Scenography: Lien Wauters

Director: Emily Ensink

Visitors: 114,000

Image courtesy of Modemuseum, Hasselt, Belgium.