1960s Century Shoes
But, bubbling beneath the surface, the Civil Rights movement was brewing and revolution was hip. Music, literature, and art became hugely experimental. The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Motown, Andy Warhol-all struck a chord within a society looking for change.
People thirsted for social freedom and self-expression. Just a few years into the 1960s, the pill-boxed silhouette of the Kennedy era was discarded for experimental fashion, pioneered by designers such as Mary Quant. Best known for introducing the mini-skirt, Quant also promoted the use of wild geometric prints on waif-like models such as Twiggy.
And as interest grew in our quest for the moon, so did the number of space-influenced designs. But as many looked forward, some designers also looked to the past or to other cultures. Later in the decade as the Hippie movement caught on, flower children everywhere demanded more organic fashions.
Shoes reflected the rampant experimentation with color, texture, shape, and style. Many matrons refused to give up their stilettos, but young people were gobbling up all the boots, sandals, and shoes that designers could throw at them. Everything from citrus-colored sandals to spacey, iridescently rainbow platforms to classic colonial or Edwardian-style pumps were in demand.
Go-go boots were popularized by Nancy Sinatra's song, "These Boots Were Made For Walking," and soon became a symbol of the 1960s. A white, flat-heeled version of the boot was first created by designer Andres Courreges. Other designers followed suit with boots in a variety of colors, materials, and styles.
A leather shortage and the space-age craze inspired shoe construction in new materials such as vinyl and plastic. Designers were enthusiastic about these new materials, and their designs were very experimental. This enthusiasm continued, even as social unrest became more prevalent …