Shoe fetishism is the attribution of attractive sexual qualities to shoes or other footwear as a matter of sexual preference, psychosexual disorder, and an alternative or complement to a relationship with a partner. It has also been known as retifism, after the French novelist Nicolas-Edme Rétif (1734–1806), also known as Rétif de la Bretonne.
Individuals with shoe fetishism can be erotically interested in either men’s or women’s shoes. Although shoes may appear to carry sexual connotations in mainstream culture (for example, women’s shoes are commonly sold as being “sexy”) this opinion refers to an ethnographic or cultural context, and is likely not intended to be taken literally. Another fetishism, which sometimes is seen as related to shoe fetishism, is boot fetishism.
In fashion photography there were various photographers who shot creative, erotic and sensual shots to present shoes in a nice and attractive way. This happened from the very start of photography. Not all was dedicated to nude, erotic and sensual views were searched for by photographers and their models. One woman, for who I will soon built a page to add to the photographers collection, who I want to mention was Countess Of Castiglione, Virginia Oldini. She was better known as La Castiglione, was born to an aristocratic family from La Spezia. She was a 19th-century Italian aristocrat who achieved notoriety as a mistress of Emperor Napoleon III of France. She was also a significant figure in the early history of photography. During her days exposing feet was not done, La Castiglione asked her court photographers to photograph her feet. One might wonder why, did she knew there were men who adore feet? Did she want to confront the world by showing things that were not ok to show? Perhaps we will never know.
Or what to think about photographers Jacques Biederer, Yva Richard and John Willie who perfectly understood feet and shoes were considered as aroused by some, and therefor produced these photos just to sell them. Or the photos that were taken for Diana Slip Lingerie (by Jean Moral, Roger Schall and Jacques Biederer), the purpose was to shoot catalog photos for lingerie but shoes were an important connection. Not to forget Juan Chrisostomo Mendez who captured some very personal views of feet and shoes, or Charles Gates Sheldon, a Fashion photographer.
Enjoy this special collection I’ve put together with photographs from various photographers and from the era 1880 -1950. To see more visit the memberspage.