A comfortable high heel is not rocket science, it’s much more complicated.
Dolly Singh of Thesis Couture and a former engineer from Elon Musk’s Space X Found the whole thing was much more complicated than she first anticipated. “I came from rockets and VR,” she notes. “I thought that six months after I started this project, I’d have the most amazing shoes that the planet has ever seen. And here I am, three years later—and I’m almost finished.”
The people Singh recruited, from SpaceX and elsewhere, to advise Thesis Couture in doing that work included Hans Koenigsmann, the (yes) rocket scientist. And Garrett Reisman, the (yes) former astronaut. And Matt Thomas, the former director of mechanical engineering at Oculus VR, the (now-Facebook-owned) virtual reality firm. And Andy Goldberg, an orthopedic surgeon. And Francis Bitonti, a clothing designer—he created that iconic, 3-D-printed gown for the burlesque star Dita Von Teese—who has become an expert at using algorithms to ensure garments’ fit. Singh also brought on Amanda Parkes, a fashion technologist, to ensure that the shoes the company created would be stylish as well as comfortable. Not running shoe-comfortable, to be extra-clear, but for-a-high heel-comfortable. “What we’re fundamentally trying to do,” Singh explains, “is make a stiletto that feels like a wedge.”
“You never find wonderful and great things on the ground, but instead placed on high, to fill others with wonder and reverence,” Arcangela Tarabotti, a Venetian nun, argued in the 17th century. She was defending a very early version of the stiletto.
My 5’11” (180.4cm) daughter likes to wear very high heels.
Unlike many of the women discussed in this article, she has no need to wear them to look males straight in their eyes. She doesn’t wear them to work anyway.
She inherited her mother’s great legs and certainly doesn’t need to stand on tiptoe to exaggerate their shape.
But she has told me that she likes wearing them when she gets dressed up, likes how it makes her feel.
She’s a professional and an adult and I admire that she has become so comfortable with her stature that she stands proud of it. But I am fully aware of the long term impact on women’s feet of wearing them and hope that she lets them stay (for the most part anyway) in the back of her closet gathering dust.
If you’re interested, Thesis Couture plans to include just 1,500 pairs of shoes—retail price: $925 each—in its inaugural line, coming this fall. At a recent soft-launch event, in New York, Singh announced to the assembled crowd that they could add their names to the waiting list of people who have expressed advance interest in purchasing one of those pairs. The list, Singh told me, currently has more than 10,000 names.
And to go with this excellent article is a look at some odd and unusual foot and leg wear: