Do Prada's $890 'Lips' heels glamourise smoking
15:43 GMT, 5 April 2012
In case you thought glorification of tobacco use was dead, Prada has come up with a pair of heels that 'smoke cigarettes'.
Retailing for $890, the Eighties-inspired 'Lips' sandals feature an ankle strap, half-inch platform and bright pink patent lips with a lit cigarette hanging out the side.
While the luxury shoe market is competitive, with brands using statement accessories as their main cash cow, Prada's latest offering perhaps takes the social responsibility out of fashion, replacing it instead with outrageous aesthetic.
Le smoking: Retailing for $890, the Eighties inspired 'Lips' sandals feature bright pink patent lips with a lite cigarette hanging out the side
Some have pointed out that the shoes would cost the equivalent of 80 packs of cigarettes, but one has to ask, why would you want either
Smoking and fashion have been bound together since cigarettes and cameras coincided, but despite all the dire health warnings, fashion continues to fall back in love with it.
Promoting highly aspirational products with something that kills up to half of users could be seen as disappointing to many.
However designers argue differently, using the platform of creative expression as an excuse – where an effort to create a mood, or an era when people smoked freely, is part of that expression.
In recent years, despite aggressive anti-smoking campaigns and regulations in many countries, fashion stylists and designers have continued to use smoking imagery to either shock, or evoke historic ideas of glamour and power.
Why Because fashion loves to go back and reference itself, and smoking helps.
Chic cigarettes: Smoking and fashion have been bound together since cigarettes and cameras coincided, despite dire health warnings
To the fashion industry, smoking says history and style, it's a bit dreamy, a bit intellectual, it's 'glamorous'.
Most recently, Marc Jacobs hired Kate Moss to expertly puff down his Louis Vuitton catwalk, which caused an eruption of controversy in the media.
Fashion is on the surface an inherently glamorous and attractive industry.
Anything associated with it, be it sex, alcohol or smoking, will most likely evoke that same response from an audience, whether it's on screen, in a magazine, or on your feet.
However, Sir Liam Liam Donaldson, England's former chief medical officer, told Vogue UK: 'The medical facts tell a different story.
'Beauty is skin deep and smoke and chemicals in cigarette smoke damage the architecture of skin for good. [Tobacco firms] are aided by a fashion industry that promote smoking as a natural and attractive lifestyle,' he said.
While many believe that anything which promotes smoking in this way should be banned, maybe these shoes should just be banned regardless.
No matter the comical intent these salacious stilettos aimed to achieve, smoking is ugly, and Prada, so are these shoes.