250022-564ProductSuede Slingback Pumps
Although the word ‘pump’ is generic and can be ascribed to a wide range of styles, it generally refers to a closed-back, strapless slip-on shoe with no buckling or lacing, fairly low-cut at both sides and front, with a rounded or V-shaped opening. It is often heeled and can have either a rounded or pointy toe. The modern version of the pump dates to the early 20th century, with its classic profile fully established in the 1950s by designers and shoemakers in London, Paris and Florence.
Until the late 17th century, men and women wore roughly the same style of shoes, but after that point men’s shoes developed to be more practical while women’s became more ornate. High heels became popular for riding shoes in 15th-century Persia and later spread to the European aristocracy and courts, where men used them to appear taller. Heels or platform shoes were also adopted as an androgynous symbol among courtesans in 16th-century Venice.
High heels almost disappeared from fashion after the French Revolution but returned in the mid-19th century, which is when the women’s court shoe emerged; it is from this style that the modern pump is derived. The 8-centimetre stiletto was launched in 1954, made possible by a new technique whereby a metal shaft was embedded in the heel to support the body weight.