62 Years Later And We Still Want This Shoe

When we think about fashion, France and Italy are most likely the first two countries that will come to our mind. Over the last 100 years, both countries have had an incredible amount of great designers bringing wonderful products into the market. However, only a few were able to make a mark that will, most probably, never be forgotten.  Among this rather narrow group, on the Parisian cantered side of the Alps, Coco Chanel has definitely had a rather impressive standing, especially when talking about shoes. 

Vintage Chanel Silk Scarf. Source: Farfetch

Chanel designs followed three very basic rules: simplicity, practicality, and elegance. Following those clear directives, Chanel – the designer, not the brand in this case – was able to transform her creative dreams into real products, changing the way women dress in those hard times between the two world wars, from the ‘20s till the ‘50s. Clearly, her mark is still noticeable today, where Chanel – the brand, not the designer this time – is a statement for all women, from Asia to America.  

Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida surrounded by models wearing the two-toned shoe. 1964. Courtesy: Chanel

However, we want to focus on those first years, when Coco was paving her way into the Parisian fashion scene. She dared to design garments that were unthinkable for women during those years – tracksuits, sailor suits, dark tones, and even trousers – that became a fashion choice for women once Chanel created and popularised the idea of borrowing design concepts from men’s clothing and accessories.  In 1957, this fundamental concept of translating masculine ideas into a feminine universe brought to life one of the most popular accessories ever created: the two-tone slingback shoe. 

In fact, the shoe was based on a particular version of leisure man shoes. It was the antipode of the standard fashion for women at a time when stylish ladies were mostly wearing shoes that matched the exact colour of their dresses. 

This already exceptional chromatic contrast that was very apparent – and extremely recognizable – from the first look, had also a silhouette related reason: the black copped toe makes the feet look smaller while the nude color tends to make the leg look longer. The shoe was then exclusively designed for the woman, giving her more confidence and even a more elegant appearance. The focus on the woman was not just on a design level, but mainly regarding the actual construction of the shoe. Chanel opted for an elastic enclosing the ankle from the back, allowing for free movement when walking. 

Source: Chanel.com

The two-tone was a remarkable and daring footwear for the time and a prime example of Chanel’s core principles of simplicity, practicality and elegance. Today, 62 years later and under the leadership of Karl Lagerfeld, the two-tone shoe has been reimagined, so that now it unfolds its classical beauty over many different models and colours, becoming a timeless accessory for every modern woman.

Different colours of the two-tone, introduced by Karl Lagerfeld. Source: Chanel.com

For adding this iconic piece to your wardrobe you can visit the Chanel website HERE, with prices starting at: 690 €.


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