5 Mini Powerhouses Step Into Spring's Biggest Shoe Trends

They may be small, but their dreams — and their shoes — are anything but.

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Growing up as a young woman in 2018 means discussions of feminism, breaking down beauty standards, and fighting the patriarchy from a startlingly younger age than earlier generations (ours included). Of course, the playfulness and imagination of childhood aren’t lost, but in today's climate, girls are learning invaluable lessons about their power and worth at the same time they're learning their ABCs. They’re bold, they’re brave, and they’re coming into their own with open eyes — proud to be female, and proud to be themselves.
Instead of showing spring's coolest shoe trends on yet another six-foot-something model, we’re flipping the script: We’re letting the ladies of the future do the talking, all while sporting the biggest styles of the season. In the era of Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Cecile Richards, our youngest generation of females has some big shoes to fill as they grow up into the leaders and icons of the future. And they’re definitely up to the challenge.
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Dressing the part is half the battle — a weapon against what everyone tells us what women must be, believe, or look like. It's our armor of individuality. And what better confidence booster is there than a swanky pair of shoes? Ahead, get to know just a handful of tomorrow's luminaries: what they’re dreaming about, what makes them feel strong, and what makes them, well, proud to be girls.
Photographed by Jessica Antola.
Prabal Gurung heels; Kenzo ‘Jackie Flowers’ Mid-length Dress in Flamingo Pink, $760, available at Kenzo; Stella McCartney Kids sweater; Happy Socks Hysteria Emilia Ankle Sock, $18, available at Happy Socks; Burberry Vintage Check Baseball Cap in Antique Yellow, $295, available at Burberry; Lizzie Fortunato earrings; Carly’s own earrings.

Carly, Age 7, in Next-Level Statement Heels

What’s your absolute favorite thing about spring?
“Going on vacation to Belize because the weather is always warm and I can go to the beach with my cousin.”
What does your dream pair of shoes look like?
“[They] would be blue with stars, moons, and unicorns, and feel fluffy.”
Why are you proud to be a girl?
"I am proud to be a girl because girls are amazing and powerful."
Photographed by Jessica Antola.
Brother Vellies Disco Dust Palms Pump, $525, available at Brother Vellies; Ganni Bliss Wrap Top, $540, available at Ganni; Stella McCartney Kids T-shirt; Barrie skirt; Alain Mikli x Alexandre Vauthier sunglasses; McQ sunglasses; Lizzie Fortunato necklace.
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Penelope, Age 5, in Can't-Miss-Me Feathers

What's one thing you hope to be able to do by the time you're 10?
“Ride a Hellcat with my daddy and get a phone.”
If you could have your dream pair of shoes, what would they look like? What would they feel like?
“They would be glittery and they would be kid high heels. They would be neon pink and have a little green pom-pom in the front. They would feel like extra-squishy memory foam.”
Why are you proud to be a girl?
“I’m very proud to be a girl because I’m good at it. It makes me feel happy and I have lots of girl superpowers, like not having to stand up to pee and make a mess all over the place.”
Photographed by Jessica Antola.
Louis Vuitton sneaker and vest; Louis Vuitton Twistlock Printed Top with Ruffle Sleeve, $1,070, available at Louis Vuitton; Penelope’s own jeans; Lizzie Fortunato earrings.
Photographed by Jessica Antola.
Maryam Nassir Zadeh heels; Acne Studios Blå Konst Gianni Print Shirt in Blue/Pink Stripe, $420, available at Acne Studios; Stella McCartney Kids Nat Donkeys Print Skirt, $92, available at Stella McCartney; Lizzie Fortunato necklace.

Jayla, Age 6, in Be-Bold Pumps

What makes you feel most powerful?
“Being kind to people and defending my friends from bullies at school.”
Is there a piece of clothing that gives you an extra-special boost of confidence?
“A tulle skirt and sparkly/shiny shoes!"
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Photographed by Jessica Antola.
Chanel boots; Stella McCartney Kids Bongo Ice Cream Dress, $86, available at Stella McCartney; Chanel top, skirt, hat, and earrings.

Clementine, Age 10, in Those Chanel Boots

What's one thing you hope to be able to do by the time you're 16?
“I’m hoping to have my first fashion internship, because I've loved to draw and sew since l was little. I’ve always known I want to grow up to either be a fashion designer or a scientist/mathematician.”
What are the best and worst parts about getting dressed?
“Finding a cool way to express myself and having a unique outfit each day. I love to play around with putting different outfits together. The worst part about getting dressed is how long it takes me. Also, making sure my outfit is comfortable and durable for the day. I am a perfectionist, and when I don’t think my outfit looks exactly the way I want to, I get worried.”
Why are you proud to be a girl?
"Being a girl is a symbol of power and kindness and I believe that girls hold the future in their hands. I love being a girl.”
Photographed by Jessica Antola.
Miista Hope Dusk Check Mid-heels, $285, available at Miista; Christian Dior dress; Adidas Originals Striped Stretch Bodysuit, $40, available at Net-A-Porter; Christian Dior beret, choker, bracelets, ring; Clem’s own necklace.
Photographed by Jessica Antola.
Rachel Comey Ketu Clogs in Allium Pink Suede, $470, available at Rachel Comey; Araks Shelby Pajama Top in Meadow, $300, available at Araks; Stella McCartney Kids Pear Donkey Patches Dress, $112, available at Stella McCartney; Happy Socks Hysteria Jill Ankle Sock in Blue/Pink, $18, available at Happy Socks; Eric Javits hat; Mercura sunglasses; Lizzie Fortunato Postmodern Cuff in Marigold, $210, available at Lizzie Fortunato; Lizzie Fortunato Ridge Cuff in Clear, $115, available at Lizzie Fortunato.
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Emma, Age 6, in Sock-Ready Platforms

What’s your absolute favorite thing about spring?
You get to see pretty flowers and the birds flying. I like that you get to see animals and I like the nature sounds, like chirping. The weather is warmer too, and I like playing outside.”
What's one thing you hope to be able to do by the time you're 10?
"Everything! I want to be everything. So one day when I grow up and I want to be an artist, I can practice painting and drawing and coloring. Or be a builder so I can practice building with my building blocks at school and at home. I am going to practice those things until I am 10 like all day and all night so I can be all those things when I grow up. And I can practice being a doctor and take care of my animals with my doctor's kit. Oh, and be a zoologist and take care of animals!"​
If you could have your dream pair of shoes, what would they look like?
"Rainbow tie-dye with panda colors and a little picture of a baby panda on the sides. They will be sneakers — tie sneakers — because I like tying my shoes." ​
Why are you proud to be a girl?
"Girls rock! I am proud to be me! You can be a rebel girl. You get to try new things and you have long hair. And if you go to karate you can be strong and have good speed."
Welcome to MyIdentity. The road to owning your identity is rarely easy. In this yearlong program, we will celebrate that journey and explore how the choices we make on the outside reflect what we’re feeling on the inside — and the important role fashion and beauty play in helping people find and express who they are.
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