Bata Shoe Museum’s New Exhibition Explores Society’s Shoe Obsession

October 19, 2022 (TORONTO)
The Bata Shoe Museum is excited to announce the opening of its newest exhibition, OBSESSED: How Shoes Became Objects of Desire. Guiding you through the story of how we have become a society obsessed with shoes, this exhibition features highly coveted shoes in our collection that represents how industrialization drove shoe consumption transforming footwear designers into celebrities and shoes into high-value collectibles. 

“How we have come to be shoe obsessed is a complicated story of need, innovation, desire and opportunity and has as much to do with industrialization as it does with personal style. This exhibition explores how new ideas have inspired new shoes leading many of us to want more.” says Elizabeth Semmelhack, Director and Senior Curator of the Bata Shoe Museum.

Designed by graphic designer Gus Aguirre, visitors will walk through the mind of a collective shoe obsession, from preindustrial to modern day. The collage motif was chosen to show abstract mental processes and is based on the DADA art movement of the early 20th century.

Highlights in the exhibition include:

  • A shoe trunk monogrammed with the iconic Louis Vuitton logo from the 20th century featuring discreet compartments for 30 pairs of shoes
  • Car shoes designed by one of the most innovative female footwear designers of the 20th century Beth Levine.
  • A pair of 19th century carriage shoes designed by François Pinet featuring ostentatious ostrich feathers to trap the heat.
  • Brilliant 19th century purple shoes that reflect the craze for that colour that emerged after 18-year-old chemist William Henry Perkins accidentally made synthetic purple while trying to find a new treatment for malaria.
  • Green straights from the 19th century made for export to England by the Paris-based maker, Melnotte.
  • Gorgeous cobalt blue silk satin pumps designed by Manolo Blahnik
  • A pair of Air Jordan 11 Retro CB ‘Concord’ 2018 sneakers



Sarah Power, Head of Communications & Marketing
Bata Shoe Museum
416.979.7799 x225

Download Obsessed Press Release