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Museum Exhibit Puts Shoes Front And Center

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Shoes are no longer accessories at a new exhibit at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. They are the main attraction. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.

With Cinderella's fairy tale dreams coming true on on Broadway, some women may wonder if there really is Prince Charming out there. Others want to know where they can find a pair of glass slippers. Well, look no further than a shoe extravaganza at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

"Sigmund Freud once asked, 'What do women want,' and I think a lot of women want shoes," says Valerie Steele, director of the Museum at FIT.

The new exhibit is curated by Steele and Associate Curator of Accessories Colleen Hill. Together, they've researched all aspects of our fascination with footwear.

The exhibit is called Shoe Obsession.

"We have been all obsessed with shoes forever, since Cinderella, but the point of this show is to explore not just why we're obsessed with shoes, but why our obsession has become so intense in the last 10, 12 years," Steele says. "It sort of of kicked off with 'Sex and the City'."

Among the more than 150 pairs on view at the exhibit are the Monolo Blhaniks coveted by Carrie Bradshaw on HBO's "Sex and the City". But while Carrie may have introduced TV fans to designer heels, that's just part of the story.

"As handbags became the it accessory, the prices escalated a lot," says Colleen Hill, associate curator at the Museum at FIT. "Even now, although designer shoes are also quite expensive, they're still less so than a handbag. You can still buy two, three pairs of shoes for the price of a designer handbag. I also think shoes are a lot of fun. They allow women to look completely different, to totally transform an outfit."

According to the experts at the exhibit, high heels don’t just make you look better. They also make you feel better.

"I think that it makes women feel beautiful and powerful and sexy," Hill says.

So whether you're going to the ball or just feeling fancy, check out the exhibit before the strike of midnight on April 13.

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