In the 1970s, discotheques featured lively dancers who were hired by club owners to keep the crowds energised and entertained. The flashy boots worn by these women went up to the knee and often had a lace-up or zipper front. Because the go-go dancers brought this style of footwear into vogue, the boots were called "go-go boots."
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A go-go boot is usually high, reaching up to the knee. The length of the boot is meant to complement the miniskirts that were the rage in the '70s -- the shorter the skirt, the higher the boot. Heel length varied. Boots marketed to younger women had a lower heel, while styles for mature women could be dramatic platform heels. Often these boots were made of white vinyl. The go-go was the first boot that was worn by women strictly for fashion and not for function.
When Nancy Sinatra sang "These Boots Are Made for Walking" she was wearing the classic go-go boot. Jane Fonda's daringly dressed intergalactic heroine Barbarella wore the boots to accessorise her wild space age outfits. The women of the rock band ABBA were frequently seen sporting the look. Finally, the 1970s TV incarnation of Wonder Woman chased down the bad guys in flashy red go-go boots.
Although they hit the mainstream in the '70s, go-go boots were actually invented by French fashion designer Andre Courreges in the 1960s. This influential designer brought the space age look into fashion and frequently used vinyl and plastic in his designs. Courreges also is responsible for another '60s and '70s fashion staple, the miniskirt.
Although the go-go boot may call to mind a freewheeling mod disco scene, one profession featured a uniform that incorporated go-go boots: airline stewardess. American artist and designer Mario Armond Zamparelli designed stewardess outfits featuring bright yellow go-go boots, and uniforms worn by Pacific Northwest Airlines attendants featured miniskirts and bright red boots.
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