The secret meaning of shoes at theHouse of St Barnabas

Art & Culture

Ahead of the launch of its not for profit members club in autumn 2013, The House of St Barnabas presents a series of events and conversations in their beautiful chapel this spring…

The opening talk on Thursday 25 April 2013 is titled The Secret Meaning of Shoes and examines how and why shoes have become the most fetishized commodity in the developed world. The most profitable items in the fashion sector, shoes have become symbols of global branding and icons of the luxury market. Their star designers and brands Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin – have become bywords for certain kinds of wealth and taste, making the shoe perhaps the icon of modern hyper-consumerism.

The Secret Meaning of Shoes will consider how and why this has happened and analyse everything from what your choice of footwear says about you to the sexual politics of high heels


Ekow Eshun


Miranda Sawyer:
Observer columnist Miranda Sawyer will explore what your shoes say about you. Wearing lace-up brogues? Then her guess is that youre searching for authenticity; Prefer Converse? Then youre probably an indy music aficionado, or perhaps a forty-something mum trying not to offend! Sawyer examines how your shoes really are the windows of your sole.
Marc Hare:
Marc Hare is one of Britains sharpest and most charismatic shoe designers. His creations are worn by some of the worlds most stylish men, from Robert Downey Jr and Javier Bardem to Tom Hardy and Tinie Tempah, and are stocked in leading boutiques internationally.
Charlie Porter:
Charlie Porter writes daily at, and is the men’s fashion critic at the Financial Times. He’s previously worked at Fantastic Man, GQ, The Guardian and The Times, and has written for titles such as British Vogue and i-D. 
The House of St Barnabas has been a charity in the heart of Soho, London since 1846. Its vision today is to create a future where sustained employment is a reality for those affected by homelessness. The Charity will achieve this through its Employment Academy, which will operate as the heart of the not for profit members club opening in September 2013 and will be the vital key to success in realising its vision.  The club will provide opportunities for work experience in a dynamic environment and first rate commercial hospitality training.