By  on February 9, 2009

History claims the Romans invented the gladiator sandal to better traverse their vast empire on foot. But in typical accessories fashion, what was once a functional wardrobe staple quickly grew into a status symbol among the upper class.

Egyptian Pharaohs chose sandals with turned-up toes, while wealthy Greek women adorned theirs with precious stones and jewels. Fast-forward a few thousand years to the Sixties, when chic Jacqueline Kennedy and Ingrid Bergman wore similar jeweled styles to traverse their own empires—the sunny isles of Capri and St. Barth’s. In today’s “more is more” footwear era, the trend continues as starlets combat the Los Angeles terrain, turning up everywhere from movie premieres to Starbucks in sky-high styles by Chanel, Balenciaga and Givenchy.

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