The heel deal: Vivienne Westwood once made Tracey Emin shoes for her wide, webbed feet

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Tracey Emin tells a touching story on her Instagram feed about her enduring friendship with the late, great designer Vivienne Westwood. The pair became firm friends after meeting at a Vogue shoot in the summer of 1999. “Within days I became her muse,” Emin wrote following the punk pioneer’s death in December. In a series of social media posts, the Margate-based artist has described how the two hit it off.

We like especially the story about Emin’s first Westwood fashion show experience. “I was wearing a pair of flat Prada boots with the stripe at the back… I remember Vivienne saying in her broad accent, ‘Tracey, what have you got on your feet’.” Emin explained that she wasn’t able to walk in high shoes because her instep, the arched middle part of the foot, was so high. She also points out another attribute, highlighting her “very wide feet with short webbed toes”.

“Andreas [Westwood’s husband] threw himself on the floor, tore off my boots and drew around my feet… a month later I was in a small ceremony, I was handed the perfect heels made especially for me,” Emin adds. She subsequently drew the exquisite footwear, commenting on Instagram that she is thinking of making the work into a lithograph in aid of The Vivienne Foundation, Westwood’s charitable organisation.

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