Lift Me Up

- Etro By Naomi Elizée

Naomi Elizée on the case for high heels

I’m not afraid to say it: I miss wearing heels. When I mention this to my friends, they always ask one simple question: “Why?” When I can get away with wearing my pajamas and my fuzzy house slippers almost anywhere without anyone taking a second look, why am I dreaming of the day when I can slip back into my treasured Sies Marjan platform heels before starting my journey from apartment to train and, finally, to work? I’ll happily throw on a pair of flats for a quick run to the bodega down the street, and I own a couple of sneakers to work out in, but before the pandemic hit, you would always find me in a heel, no matter the height—from a four-inch boot to a kitten, if it had a heel, I wore it.

It all goes back to my mother, who, when I was growing up near Miami, taught me the art of getting dressed and sparked my interest in fashion—something I never got a chance to thank her for because of her passing last year. My mother loved to wear heels, especially whenever she and my father stepped out to one of the many Haitian parties our family and friends would throw. We had a ritual together: I would help her pick an outfit for her night out while I tried on her many shoes and used her room as my runway. When she wore my favorite pair—these diamanté strappy stilettos—I could feel her energy shift and her confidence skyrocket. My mother showed me that there is a certain force you can channel when wearing certain things; to this day, I feel powerful—indestruct­ible, even—when I throw on a pair of heels.

In high school, my friends and I would race home after school to dress up in our latest vintage finds, some of which were taken straight out of our mothers’ closets.

We would do photo shoots in our backyard to create content for our Lookbook pages. ( Lookbook. nu was our Instagram of 2008–2010, where you could post outfits and seek out inspiratio­n from other creators.) My first fashion heel to debut on my page: none other than the infamous Jeffrey Campbell Lita platform lace- up ankle boots. Where did I plan on wearing them? The thought didn’t even occur to me— I simply marveled at the fact that I towered at six feet three inches in the five-inch heel with a two-inch platform. I wasn’t afraid of the height—I embraced it. I felt, quite literally, on top of the world whenever I wore them.

Now I find myself in the same situation: lusting after heels with absolutely nowhere to go in them. I’m currently two credit-card payments away from taking the plunge on the latest Amina Muaddi x AWGE collaborat­ion heel— you know, the ones that wrap up and around to the top of your thighs—and am about to convince myself that I need the yellow mesh stretch heels from Bottega Veneta (I already own them in green).

After a year of constant changes, I’m desperate for a return to some kind of normalcy. Heels are familiar; they’re nostalgic. I’ve always felt like my higher self when I’m in heels, and, truthfully, I just want to feel like myself again. And if that means giving up my fuzzy slippers?

Bring it on. @


This sandal ($830; etro.com) features a chunky rope tie and quirky graphic paisleys—the house’s signature motif—sprinkled at the base.

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Manolo Blahnik’s spectator pump ($995; manoloblah­nik.com) takes the notion of sportif to entirely new heights.
LEATHER AND LACED Manolo Blahnik’s spectator pump ($995; manoloblah­nik.com) takes the notion of sportif to entirely new heights.

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