Audrey Hepburn, Princess Diana and Today’s It-Girls Embrace Kitten Heels

The kitten heel is the cat’s meow of the moment in the style stratosphere. Long gone are the days where sky-high heels were the it-shoe. Now, the lower the heel the bigger the impact. A mere 1.5-to-2 inches is all it takes to be fiercer than ever before, and women (and their feet) are rejoicing.

But it’s not the only time in history that the kitten heel has made its mark. Even Audrey Hepburn was in on the action back in the 1960s. The “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” actress was styled in a chic navy look with matching kitten heels on the set of “How to Steal a Million” in 1966.

audrey hepburn, kitten heels, How To Steal A Million
Audrey Hepburn wears kitten heels with a bow on the set of “How To Steal A Million” in 1966.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

Twenty years later, kitten heels were a statement shoe on the Oscar de la Renta runway.  The designer created a Renaissance-meets-gypsy inspired look for his fall 1988 show, which he paired with kitten-heeled mules.

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A black jacket with a contrasting yellow embroidered trim was paired with harem pants and kitten heels in the Oscar de la Renta fall show, New York, 1988.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

Nearly 10 years after Oscar de la Renta’s kitten mules, royalty brought the silhouette to the forefront. Princess Diana frequented short heels for various appearances throughout her tenure. In 1997, she paired a powder blue bedazzled dress with a matching clutch and slingback kitten heels.

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Princess Diana in 1997 wearing powder blue slingback kitten heels with a matching dress and clutch.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

Kitten heels have certainly been no stranger to the red carpet over the years either.

Susan Sarandon has been a fan for years; The actress stepped out on the red carpet in pink suede kitten heels as far back as 2006 for the Condé Nast Traveller Hot List Party. And just this year, she opted for a sleek pair of black slingbacks at the Venice Film Festival.

susan sarandon, venice film festival, kitten heels
(L-R): Susan Sarandon wears kitten heels on the red carpet in 2006, and again in 2017.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

In 2014, kitten heels also had a big moment. Street style was all about the shortie shoe as paparazzi captured it-girls wearing them left and right. From studded versions to black patent styles, attendees were breezy and chic as they paired their shoes with casual-cool looks.

kitten heels, street style
(L-R): Candice Lake at New York Fashion Week, an attendee at London Fashion Week, Pernille Teisbaek at London Fashion Week and Vika Gazinkaya at Paris Fashion Week all wear kitten heels during the spring ’15 shows.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

Now, the kitten heel has emerged yet again as the go-to shoe. From runway statements, like at Stella McCartney’s spring ’18 show, to edgy new street style takes, now is the time to get in on this trend.

kitten heels, candace marie
Barney’s New York editor Candace Marie wears pink metallic kitten heels at the Paris Fashion Week spring ’18 shows.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

See more how celebrities have worn the kitten heel trend over the years.

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