Fashion / Style

A brief history of platform heels and the best pairs for your next hot girl stomp

where to buy platform heels

Platform heels are at the apex of fashion once again, with many of us pondering where to buy a pair to indulge ourselves in the footwear of the moment. Their popularity spans generations – centuries, to be exact– with the roots of platform heels traceable to Ancient Greek civilisation, their use engaged to raise the height of important figures in Greek theatre. As the shoe evolved, they became prominent in 15th century Venice – known as Zoccoli – for their practical function of avoiding wet feet when canal banks would flood and the pavement become wet. Before we take you through where to buy platform heels, allow us to first unpack the accessory’s seasoned history as a statement piece of footwear.

As contemporary fashion looked to the past for reinvention and practicality, platforms rose to prominence in the 1930s through Salvatore Ferragamo’s now iconic Rainbow Shoes designed for Judy Garland. Yet it was the 1970s when they came to fruition as a statement accessory, swathed in spectacle and held the ability to elevate a look. They were to become a favourite with the likes of Mick and Bianca Jagger, Elton John and David Bowie, whose alter ego Ziggy Stardust is synonymous with the addition of a platform heel; one only needs to glance over the promotional material for Aladdin Sane to understand Bowie’s affinity for the shoe, his pair designed by Freddie Burretti.

Britain’s Vivienne Westwood reintroduced the platform into high fashion in the early 1990s, now infamously associated with Naomi Campbell falling gracefully on the runway while modelling a pair of Westwood’s five-inch Super-Elevated Gillie shoes. However, it took until the late 90s for the trend to cycle entirely into the zeitgeist, aptly championed by the decade’s ultimate symbol of girlpower: the Spice Girls. The band made the footwear their staple, often donning sneakers and boots with large platform bases, frequently crafted by British brand, Buffalo.


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One cannot speak of the platform without a nod to Lee McQueen’s inspired take on the shoe in his penultimate  collection, Plato’s Atlantis. A symbol of mid-2000s high fashion at its peak, the distorted shape and manipulation is unlike that seen prior or since, a true example of McQueen’s pioneering eye as a designer.


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In 2022, we can attribute the rise of platforms to Versace – the Medusa and Juno iterations repopularising platforms and becoming an instant cult item – alongside an appetite for reinvention based on retro influences. Dua Lipa, Beyoncé, Winnie Harlow and more have introduced the style into their rotation, ranging from vibrant pink to muted purple hues. Yet Versace aren’t alone in the plight of the platform, with brands including Nodaleto, Prada and Saint Laurent embracing the trend.


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Where to buy platform heels?

Platforms may be easier to add into your shoe rotation than you think. Many 2022 iterations of the style present a flatform-type silhouette meaning the height of your heel and the ball of your foot are almost in tandem, optimising comfort. To add the shoe into your wardrobe for the coming season, we’ve rounded up where to shop platform heels for your next purchase.


Versace Medusa Aevitas Patent Leather Platform Pumps

Where else to start your search for your ideal pair of platform heels than Versace themselves?


Charles & Keith Darcy Patent T-Bar Platform Mary Janes in Red

Charles & Keith have some of the best platform heels in the game right now, and they're also some of funnest in design and colourway.


Prada Patent Leather Platform Heels

With Prada’s accessorising tapping into trending motifs alongside timeless aesthetics, there’s no shoe quite like a Prada shoe.


Jeffrey Campbell Oliana Platforms

Jeffrey Campbell are the kings of Bratz-esque platforms – from patent leathers to denim-look platforms, this is the place to go for when you want something bigger and bolder.


Coperni Platform Wedge

There's no one who does platform quite like Coperni, and we're feeling these platform flip-flop-style heels are the perfect go-to this summer.


Gabriela Hearst Black Augusta Heels

For something a little more sophisticated, we're eyeing off these Gabriela Hearst platform loafer heels.


Heaven by Marc Jacobs Satin Kiki Boot

There probably isn't a more sought-after platform than the ones crafted by Marc Jacobs' Heaven brand. These satin pink platform boot heels are real showstoppers.


Maryam Nassir Zadeh White Olympia Heeled Sandal

Maryam Nassir Zadeh is the ever-cool purveyor of footwear these days, so we'd be stopping by their shop for a look at some sophisticated platforms.


Mi Piaci Mary Jane Platforms

There's nothing quite as stylish as the classic Mary Jane – and these patent platforms with a double-strap are perfection.


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