Women of all ages are beautiful, and their appearance — much like their style — shouldn’t be categorized based on rigid, outdated cultural lens. There are many ways to be attractive, and feeling beautiful is as much about confidence, strength and feeling good in your own skin as anything else.
Kiki Price founders Kim Baltzell and Lucy Price believe in a vision of beauty that is diverse and inclusive, equally celebratory and empowering. Forget looking good for (or despite) your age — why can’t a woman of any age look and feel great, period? Perhaps it’s time that we leave behind these types of unnecessary modifiers altogether when talking about and describing the appearance of individuals.
The truth is, in the media and within society at large, the standards of beauty can often seem impossibly narrow, even as size diversity and racial diversity have become key issues for the fashion and beauty industries in recent years. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good, notes Baltzell, but we would all benefit from a more inclusive vision of beauty, one that is not so closely tied to youth and specific physical traits such as height or weight. “Maybe that's something that's making us particularly hard on ourselves,” she says. Someone who is 30, 60, or 80 should be considered beautiful on their own terms, not as compared to a 20-year-old.
Language is one powerful way that we can shift cultural expectations. When we talk about beauty, it should be without parentheses, suggests Price. “I've been guilty myself of that ageist lens, and I think I've turned it on myself a lot as well,” she says. “It's very hard not to do it, and it's going to take us all getting on board with this new mindset.”
Beyond embracing a more diverse, ageless notion of beauty, we should also reconsider the notion of age appropriateness when it comes to fashion and beauty. Why can’t women “of a certain age” step out in a chic heel?
In this inclusive spirit, Baltzell and Price did not target a particular demographic for Kiki Price’s debut collection. “Neither your shoe nor your age should inhibit what you want to do,” says Baltzell. “If you're 20 and you want to dance all night, you should wear a beautiful shoe that allows you to do it. And if you're 85 and you want to walk to the theater in beautiful shoes, you should be able to do it.”
The brand’s stylish designs appeal to Gen Z and Baby Boomers alike, even while innovative features such as a footbed insole and a custom-developed last directly address the complaints of aging feet. “As your feet age, they flatten, they get more sensitive on the bottom because the fat pads have gone,” says Price.
Of course, any woman can benefit from supportive footwear, and Kiki Price’s modern, elegant styles are decidedly more designer than orthopaedic. “We wanted to create shoes that are absolutely as beautiful, if not more beautiful, than whatever is going down the runway,” says Price. "We're trying to do something that not only makes people feel more comfortable than they would in a normal shoe, but also makes them look great.”
Here’s to feeling beautiful, and wearing great shoes, at all ages.