Models Boycott High-Heel 'Stilts'

It's an issue of workplace safety, say top catwalkers
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2009 4:18 AM CST
Models Boycott High-Heel 'Stilts'
Australian model Abbey Lee Kershaw is refusing to wear McQueen's towering high-heel "armadillo" shoes because of concerns about workplace safety.   (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Three top models are refusing to teeter on limb-threatening 12-inch spike heels in catwalk shows. The models refused to appear in Alexander McQueen's latest show because of his impossible-to-wear "armadillo" shoes and "workplace safety" concerns. A British shoe designer sympathized with the models. "It'd be like walking on a ruler," she said. "That's the opposite of what people want to look like."

One of the models, Abby Lee Kershaw, 22, fainted earlier this year after a trip down the runway because a McQueen corset was cinched so tightly she couldn't breath. She also had to sit out a fashion season due to a knee injury from a shoe. "For three big-name models to have taken a stand together like this is unheard of," said one expert. "This is a sign that models are finally having serious concerns about health and safety." (Read more runway stories.)

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