Are they pre-loved shoes or upcycled art? Last Friday, L.A. fashion boutique EM & Co threw a reception party for — used shoes!

Of course, these weren’t any discarded kicks. Called “Re-Purpose: Shoes & Art,” the shoe-art collection was put together by designer-artists Jeff Cahill and Noel Hagman. The gorgeous heels — many of them high-end designer shoes like Jimmy Choos and Manolo Blahniks — were refashioned into works of art, complete with names like The Greenback and Tough Bitch.

Eco-purists and anti-consumerists, besides railing against impractical high heels and high-end designers to begin with, may complain that the artists have made perfectly good used shoes less wearable. I encourage those to think of the Re-Purpose collection as upcycled art. Besides, plenty of brand new high heels today aren’t necessarily made to be ever worn, except maybe on the runway, as Vat19’s collection of ridiculous high heel shoes points out. At least the Re:Purpose artists are choosing to use non-virgin materials for their art works.

Certainly, the shoes could be worn to make a slightly uncomfortable but certainly noticeable statement with your feet. The shoes are in fact for sale, at prices ranging from $400 - $900 a pair. The shoe-curious can check out Re-Purpose at EM & Co until April 22.

Pre-loved Manolos as eco-art
Designer-artists use used high-end designer shoes to create well-heeled works of art.