Prince’s Onstage High Heels Will Be on Exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum in London has acquired a pair of stage shoes that were custom-created for the late musician Prince.

However, unlike Pantone’s new Prince tribute shade, they are not purple; rather black satin with a floral motif and the singer’s trademark heels. Yes, heels. A good couple of decades before Thom Browne “invented” heels for men. FYI: Prince was only around 5-foot-3. I mean, you would, wouldn’t you?

Shoe designed for and worn by Prince, circa. 1994.
Shoe designed for and worn by Prince, circa 1994.
CREDIT: © The Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The tags on the zips feature the “love symbol #2” logo to which Prince famously changed his name in 1993. For the uninitiated, it was supposed to resemble a conjoined version of the universal male/female symbols. Never let it be said that Prince wasn’t ahead of the curve.

But now for a secret. Known for his energetic stage leaps, his footwear needed to withstand some serious action. These shoes were fitted with special metal braces, practically invisible to the naked eye, between the heel and outer sole so they could withstand the pressure.

The shoes join the V&A’s National Collection of Performing Arts, which houses rock and pop costumes worn by by Elton John, Mick Jagger and the Beatles. They are on public display from today at the museum’s Theatre and Performance Gallery.

Prince on stage in Minneapolis wearing a similar pair of boots.
Prince on stage in Minneapolis wearing a similar pair of boots.

Access exclusive content