Stiletto Mule Heels: The Enduring Allure of Barbie’s Classic

Barbie, the iconic doll known for her impeccable fashion sense, has a long history of donning stiletto mule heels. Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” movie trailer featuring Margot Robbie as the doll caused a surge in searches for fluffy mules. These shoes play a significant role in the movie, emphasizing Barbie’s signature pose with perpetually frozen feet. This article explores the controversial history of Barbie’s classic stiletto mule heels. It is also explore their enduring appeal in both fashion and popular culture.

Barbie’s Long Affair with Stiletto Mule Heels

Barbie, introduced in 1959 by Mattel’s co-founder Ruth Handler, revolutionized the world of girls’ dolls. The doll’s inspiration partly stemmed from the German comic character Bild Lilli, known for her sassy and high-end demeanor. Barbie’s initial look featured a black and white striped bathing suit paired with backless high heels, a design that epitomized femininity and desirability. Over the years, Barbie’s wardrobe expanded, but her association with stiletto mules remained constant.

The Storied History of Stiletto Mules

Stiletto mules have a complex history dating back centuries. During the 18th-century Rococo period, the mule served as a symbol of intimacy during intimate gatherings. In the 19th century, erotic photography contributed to hypersexualizing high heels, including mules. The stiletto heel’s modern design is attributed to André Perugia in the 1950s, who experimented with metal to support a woman’s weight.

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Stiletto Mules in Hollywood and Popular Culture

The shoes made appearances in movies and album covers, further cementing their allure in popular culture. The 1974 film “Female Trouble” and the character Peggy Bundy in “Married With Children” are some notable examples that showcased the shoes’ significance and controversial reputation.

Resurgence and Barbiecore Trend

The early 2000s witnessed a resurgence of stiletto mules, partly driven by Polly of California, a brand that catered to fashion designers like Betsey Johnson. Celebrities like Jessica Simpson wearing stiletto mules in the movie “The Dukes of Hazzard” contributed to their renewed popularity. Presently, the Barbiecore trend has revitalized the appeal of stiletto mules, with A-listers like Jennifer Lawrence and Rihanna spotted wearing them. The Barbie-themed collection by Aldo and Malone Souliers’ creative directors Coco Fong and Valerio Bava exemplify the shoe’s glamorous and nostalgic allure.


Barbie’s classic stiletto mule heels have been an integral part of her fashion identity since her inception. These shoes have a storied history, evolving from symbols of intimacy to icons of femininity and glamour. Throughout the years, stiletto mules have made their mark in Hollywood and popular culture, eliciting both fascination and controversy. As the Barbiecore trend continues to gain traction, these timeless shoes are set for a remarkable comeback, leaving a lasting impression on fashion and pop culture. Last, Just as Barbie breaks out of her box, it’s time for the stiletto mule to step into the spotlight once again.