"Chopines, a conversation between the past and the future..."


Throughout my years in the arts, I always try to create conversational pieces that reflect history to inspire the viewers' interpretation, creating a unique dialog and an educational storytelling process. The results always inspire my following concept creations, a never-ending cycle.


I'm an artist and a historic shoe collector, constantly researching history, fashion, design, and humanity, looking for iconic stories. The earliest pieces in my shoe collection date from the fifteenth century. I found that Footwear is often shaped by social convention, and It is fascinating how history is constantly repeating.


For my latest shoe/sculptures collection, I'm inspired by the Chopines (sha-PEENS), a platform shoe with tall wooden or cork platform soles developed in the early sixteenth century and especially popular among women; the high-platformed shoe called the Chopine was both practical and symbolic function. The thick-soled, raised shoe was designed to protect the foot from irregularly paved and wet or muddy streets. But the enhancement of the wearer's stature also played a role. Their origin is unknown, but they are very similar to the Turkish and Greek tall clogs worn in bathhouses. A description you can find in books or online for this iconic beauty, but let's get deep into Chopine's concept.


Interestingly, history is constantly repeating. Throughout my recent creations, let's talk about that desire's future, the expectation of being relevant.


From the Chinese tradition of lotus shoes for bound feet to the 20th-century stiletto, fabulous footwear is often shaped by social convention, and the Chopine was no exception. Nearly 500 years ago, these sky-high, geometric platforms were created to fulfill the desire to expose and convey their families' wealth and the more significant affluence of the regions in parts of Italy, France, England, and Spain. Although the Chopine was a 16th-century form of footwear, it has classical antecedents. We can trace the wearing of platform shoes. They were also popular among the Roman women inspired by the Greeks and the Chinese in the 17th century, where the pedestals were much slimmer than those in Venice.