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Video: High heels for babies?

By
TODAY contributor
updated 9/12/2008 11:27:37 AM ET 2008-09-12T15:27:37

Some people are getting a big kick out of an emerging fashion trend for babies — high heel crib shoes for girls too young to walk. Others are certain it’s yet another sign that the republic really is going to perdition in a handbasket.

The latest rage for the preverbal set is the creation of two Seattle moms, Britta Bacon and Hayden Porter. Friends since childhood, the two were taking Bacon’s daughter, Kayla, to a party for her fourth birthday when they started reminiscing about when Kayla was an infant.

Porter, who admits to being obsessed with shoes, found herself thinking how hilarious it would have been if Kayla had had high heels as an infant.

The more Bacon and Porter thought about it, the better the idea sounded. They developed a product that comes in six styles: leopard satin print, hot pink patent, black satin, zebra satin, black patent and hot pink satin. They are packaged in a see-through “runway bag” with a big rhinestone clasp.

The shoes aren’t meant to be walked in, and the heels collapse if a baby attempts to stand on them.

Debate afoot
There’s a lively debate on the Internet about the shoes, with some bloggers appalled by them and others smitten with the cuteness of it all.

A press release from manufacturer Heelarious goes heavy on the cute: “Fashionable. Adorable. Hilarious. Ingenious. Yes, we're talking about the latest rage in shoes to hit the market since Sex and the City made Choo and Louboutin household names. Heelarious has conquered the last frontier of baby fashion in such a fabulous way that we have to think that Carrie Bradshaw would most certainly approve.”

Celebrity-Babies.com had this take: “If you're the mother of a baby and can't wait to go for your first mother-daughter manicure, get her fitted for her first bra, or give her a makeover, you might get a kick out of heelarious infant high heels.”

Others are less excited. “These baby high heels are ridiculous and take out all the fun in having a baby and toddler,” reads an anonymous comment posted on Digg.com. “I wish the fashion industry would quit promoting adult like clothing and accessories for infants and toddlers. Doesn't anyone want to keep the little ones a normal dressed baby?”

A critic on Clotheshorse.com was undecided, writing: “I find them funny from a fashion and shoe lover's perspective but also a little disturbing that we are trying to create mini Carrie Bradshaw just a little too early. Shouldn't babies be wearing sweet bunny slippers or cheeky Robeezs? What do you think? Do you find them cute and funny or a bit odd and disturbing?”

On Friday, the TODAY anchors sat down with two baby girls to see what the target audience thinks about the soft and cushy Heelarious shoes that sell for $35 a pair.

Little Sophia Bushey considered her shoe and chucked it aside. Beatriz De Lima, on the other hand, removed one of her shoes and started chewing on the toe. She seemed satisfied with the flavor.

The TODAY cast didn’t know what to make of the shoes, which come in one size — 0-6 months — and are not designed for walking. But Meredith Vieira, Ann Curry and Matt Lauer did agree that putting infants in high heels is pushing the envelope into uncomfortable territory.

“Thirty-five dollars for the heels; $45 to get the bustier with it,” Lauer deadpanned.

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