Leanie van der Vyver‘s shoe design ‘Scary Beautiful’ was completed as her graduate thesis exhibition at Gerrit Rietveld. In collaboration with shoe fabricator René Van Den Berg , Vyver created a shoe that elevates the wearer’s heel to such a degree that the shoe requires an additional shin-support to prevent the wearer from collapsing forward.
Vyver’s design is a social commentary on society’s push for beauty and the steps people take to achieve it. Targeting the high heel shoe, an iconic accessory of female sexuality, Vyver intended to create high heels on steroids. Vyver explained how high heels accentuate leg muscles, push out the butt, and slightly impair a female’s walk. Vyver’s ‘Scary Beautiful’ carries all these aspects out to an absurd degree. The model’s walk looks crippled or animalistic, turning a sexy fashion statement into something disturbing and unnatural.