Women + Their Shoes

Images used with permission from Mark Schwartz

When I found out Andy Warhol’s protégé, painter Mark Schwartz, launched www.highheeledart.com, I became engrossed by his work. After years of only sharing his paintings with private individual clients (think Oprah and Madonna) and designing for Barneys, Bergdorf’s and other elite boutiques, Mark Schwartz has finally made his famous shoe art available online for public viewing.

Schwartz’s paintings explore the intimate relationship between women and their shoes. For the past twenty years, Schwartz has been capturing the essence of his female subjects, one provocative stiletto at a time. His colorful high-heeled art oozes sexuality, while simultaneously encapsulating pop culture.

“I have always been fascinated by beautiful high-heeled shoes; the shape, the movement, and the mood that they create entirely on their own; they scream sex and they are whimsical.” – Mark Schwartz

Schwartz has a long list of celebrity clientele that includes Oprah Winfrey, Sharon Stone, Katie Couric, Madonna, and Natasha Richardson. Each bespoke painting reveals an incredibly personal relationship between the subject and her beloved footwear.

Looking at his paintings made me wonder what shoes I would commission to be painted if I could and why? Would I ask him to immortalize a pair of black stilettos that I received from a lover alongside tickets to my first Opera? What about the pair I wore on my wedding day? Or how could I ignore the ballet flats my father-in-law sent upon the birth of my daughter? They all represent a meaningful time period in my life.

I’m curious, what shoes would you have him paint, and what’s the story behind them?


* note all images have been cropped for this post. Please visit the artist’s site to view full-scale images

When Life Gives You Limes, Make a Mojito


Architect Julian Hakes has set a new bar in shoe design, one I’m looking forward to bellying up against soon. The Mojito happened by accident when the designer deconstructed the shoe to figure out which parts were actually needed to support and protect the foot. It turns out that only the ball of the foot and the heel need to be supported, the rest is somewhat superfluous.

The shoe’s single wrap design coils around the ball of the foot, over the bridge, then gracefully sweeps down below the heel before twisting back on itself, providing support for the heel and ankle. The winding shape resembles a twist of lime—a favorite garnish of the famed Mojito, thus the name of this clever shoe.

I’m envisioning a festive happy hour in my future, one with a definite twist. Salud!