According to Dr. Trevor Davis (Consumer Product Expert with IBM) in a recession heels go up and stay up as people turn to extreme fashion to forget the troubling times.
The problem now is that the economy has been in a downturn for such a long time that heels are on the way down. Trevor Davis, said "This time, something else is occurring -- maybe a mood of long term austerity is evolving among consumers sparking a need to reduce ostentation in everyday settings."
Looking back to the last 100 years of shoe shopping and fashion trends heel heights surged in the most distinguished recessions in History. Low-heeled (flapper shoes) in the 1920s were replaced with high-heel pumps and platforms in the Great Depression of the 1930s. Platforms were revived during the 1970s oil crisis, reversing the preference for low-heeled sandals in the late 1960s. This is not to assert that ultra high heels have gone. Fortunately not but as the recession has intensified, they are now classified as Glam and Party wear and not necessarily worn for the office or shopping.
An analysis of the last 4 years of social media showed that the accelerating heel height peaked toward the end of 2009 and has since then been tumbling downwards. Let's hope not too far down.
While heels on ladies shoes and boots are still high, the IBM analysis points towards a change. It makes me wonder if shoe manufacturers use this kind of data when deciding styles for the next season.
It would appear that Social Media and posts by high heels fans is used as the reference point for IBM's special analysis software to search many billions of social media posts of individuals discussing shoes. These bloggers aren't classified as shoe experts as they don't work in the shoes industry. But are instead keen shoes fans with enormous followings.
The IBM project illustrates how classy research of social media could be employed by makers in planning future products and for outlets selecting which products to stock.
The analysis results go on and on but if you'd like to know more on the subject do check out www.ibm.com/bao
A shame they hadn't checked my site as my heels have always remained ridiculously high and will remain so for 2012 and beyond.