Valentino criticised after model Kristen McMenamy falls in heels on runway

A video of US supermodel Kristen McMenamy falling down after struggling to walk in stilettos at Valentino’s spring 2023 haute couture show in Paris has gone viral.

Fans criticised the Italian luxury fashion house for showcasing shoes that appeared too difficult to walk in, with some claiming the models were given the wrong shoe sizes and, therefore, were unable to walk properly.

The clip, which has been circulating on social media, shows McMenamy in the middle of the runway as she teeters in the sky-high stilettos.

McMenamy, however, is barely able to take a step forward before she wobbles and falls down on her knees.

The 58-year-old model, who has been in the industry since the Eighties, appears visibly frustrated and takes the shoes off before getting back up and continuing down the runway.

One person wrote on Twitter: “This video makes me never want to buy Valentino shoes.”

They added that this was “not the first time Valentino had shoe problems on the runway”, adding: “I fear they just aren’t giving the correct sizes or their shoes are just that bad to walk in because if you have a Nineties legend tripping like that? Hmm.”

Valentino’s apparently unwalkable shoes also made headlines last year after a number of models tripped or fell while walking its Spring/Summer 2023 runway show.

At the time, fashion blogger Aimee Song, who sat in the front row at the show, said in a TikTok video that one of the models was wearing shoes that “were too small” and she “ended up taking her heels off”.

McMenamy’s awkward walk after taking her shoes off also concerned some Twitter users. She appeared to walk on the outer sides of her feet immediately after removing the shoes.

“The shoes messed her up so bad she forgot how to walk on her own feet,” one person wrote.

Another added: “Look at how her feet were still wobbly after she took them off. I don’t have Valentino shoes but from my experience wearing other brands like Balenciaga, YSL, etc, I find that luxury shoes are mostly not comfortable.”

Posting a photograph of her runway look on Instagram, McMenamy appeared to poke fun at the incident.

She posted the picture of her wearing an embellished strapless dress and bright pink opera gloves, writing in the caption: “Before the Fall.”

Valentino’s runway show was attended by a number of stars, including Anne Hathaway, Kylie Minogue, Doja Cat, Sam Smith, Charli XCX, and Anna Wintour.

The collection was inspired by clubbing culture, according to creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli. It featured garments such as neon hotpants, mini dresses, Eighties-style polka dots, ruffles and graphic stripes, and sequin suits.

During the preview, Pierpaolo told British Vogue: “It’s the idea of the club as a place where fantasies can become real; where people are not only allowed to be who they want to be, but where their fantasies can transform them into whomever they wish to be. I think this is quite contemporary.”