Men’s Heels Are Taking Over Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks for Fall 2020

Has the time arrived for men’s heels to actually become a thing? The fashion world seems to think so.

Jimmy Choo, Giuseppe Zanotti and Christian Louboutin are among some of the designers tapping into the trend for the fall ’20 men’s season, which is still showing now at Paris Fashion Week through January 19. Crafted in the form of a heeled boot, the styles, which range from subtle to startling, are making the case for everyday wearability.

There’s a long history of men wearing heels, from ancient Egypt to 15th-century Persian soldiers and King Louis XIV’s infamous high-heeled footwear. But modern times have mostly ridiculed the style. For fall/winter ’20, designers are reclaiming the silhouette. It’s a trend that’s reflective of the broader shift in gender-fluid fashion, which has come to the surface in pop culture and, specifically, on red carpets, with celebs like Billy Porter and Timothée Chalamet taking more fashion risks.

We also can’t help but notice the influence David Bowie has on menswear this season. Giuseppe Zanotti, Rick Owens and Dries Van Noten have all incorporated elements of the later singer’s style in their collections, especially through the use of platform shoes and lucite heels.

Below, a look at the designers doing heels for men for fall ’20.

Christian Louboutin 

Christian Louboutin fall 2020, Paris Mens Fashion Week, heels
Christian Louboutin’s heeled loafer for men for fall ’20.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Christian Louboutin

Although sneakers are still a benchmark for the brand, Christian Louboutin welcomed some of the highest heels for men this season at its Paris Fashion Week presentation. The collection showcased a series of heeled boots and loafers that towered up to 60 mm. Colorways included classic black, daring leopard print and studs. Historically, heeled shoes with red soles were marked as a symbol of royalty, going back to King Louis XIV of France. Though Louboutin’s trademark is the iconic red sole, the designer’s use of a heel on a men’s shoe continues the tradition of channeling power and luxury through footwear.

Giuseppe Zanotti 

Giuseppe Zanotti, mens heels, milan fashion week
Giuseppe Zanotti Plexi heeled boot.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Giuseppe Zanotti

Inspired by the late David Bowie, Giuseppe Zanotti whipped up Chelsea boots with funky Plexi heels for his fall/winter ’20 collection in Milan. “He has been my idol for a long, long time, and I love a wedge heel, so I put a wedge inside so everyone can touch Mars,” Zanotti told FN. The designer also added that he’s embracing the genderless movement that’s starting to surface in the fashion world. “Splitting men’s and women’s doesn’t make sense anymore,” he said. He also told FN that he saw the sneaker as a transitional shoe to more gender-neutral footwear. “Sneakers helped us to discover a new planet,” he said. “Now we can do formal in a new way, too.”

Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo, FW20, Mens Collection, Fall, Winter, 2020, heels
A Western style with a wooden heel from Jimmy Choo’s fall ’20 men’s collection
CREDIT: Courtesy of Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo has been at the forefront of the men’s heel movement thanks to Billy Porter wearing the brand’s heeled shoes at various red carpet events, including at last month’s Footwear Achievement Awards. This season, Jimmy Choo was inspired by the cultural exchange of the East and West, drawing inspiration from martial arts star Bruce Lee, Chinese art, French fabrics and Western flare.

Rick Owens

Rick Owens, Model, Fall/Winter 2020, mens heels, blue, platform shoes
Rick Owens Fall ’20 Men’s.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Rick Owens brought lots of drama to his fall/winter ’20 show “PERFORMA” in Paris. Models teetered down the runway in chunky platforms made from leather and suede. The shoes gave off an aura of Ziggy Stardust thanks to the platform shoes done in fun colorways such as electric blue and chrome. This wasn’t the first time Owens has featured men in platforms on the runway. The designer debuted a similar style last winter, but for this season, Owens added scallop detailing to the upper of some boots. This subtle addition added a fun, futuristic Western flair to his collection.

Dries Van Noten

FW20, Men's Collection, Fall, Winter, 2020  
Dries Van Noten, Fall ’20 Men’s
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Dries Van Noten continues the streak of men in heels this season. The Belgian designer’s fall/winter ’20 collection for men was filled with faux fur and animal prints. Models were dressed in looks complete with platform boots in neutral colorways. Even the snakeskin platforms pictured above act like camouflage to the otherwise maximalist pieces Noten created for this season, creating a playful but masculine edge. 

Keep checking back for more heeled shoes seen at Fashion Week Men’s. 

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