Stilettos to Sneakers: A Virtual Shoe Symposium

Stilettos to Sneakers: A Virtual Shoe Symposium

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The Museum at FIT’s 25th fashion symposium Stilettos to Sneakers: A Virtual Shoe Symposium brought together scholars and curators and their new research on the social and cultural significance of shoes. Shoes have played an important role in human society for millennia, but interest in them has grown exponentially in the past few decades with Americans—especially women—buying more shoes. A growing cohort of men have begun collecting sneakers. This symposium explored the evolving significance of shoes over the centuries—in real life and in the cultural imagination. In this way, we hoped to show the many ways in which shoes matter to us.

The symposium was organized in conjunction with the exhibition Head to Toe, which runs through May 8, 2022.

Watch recordings of all speaker presentations on The Museum at FIT's YouTube Channel!

Symposium Schedule


Friday, December 3, 2021

11 am-11:30 am EST
Dr. Valerie Steele and Colleen Hill , "Shoes: The Collection of The Museum at FIT"
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11:30am-12 pm EST
Melissa Marra-Alvarez and Elizabeth Way, "Head to Toe"
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12 pm-12:30 pm EST
Elizabeth Semmelhack, "He Wore/She Wore: The Short History of High Heels" 
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12:30 pm-1:00 pm EDT
Christyna Pourhabib, "The First Pair: A Look into Sneaker Culture"
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"Stilettos to Sneakers: A Virtual Shoe Symposium" is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. 

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