Kristen Stewart kicked off her heels to protest Cannes’ ‘no flats’ rule for women

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • We are HERE for fiercely feminist Cannes this year.

    For years now, Cannes has been criticised for their strict dress code for women – which includes a ‘no flats’ rule that make our feet hurt just thinking about it. Well, Kristen Stewart was having none of it and made a powerful statement on the red carpet when she kicked off her heels and walked barefoot into a premiere.

    Kristen, who is a member of the Cannes female jury panel, attended a premiere of Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman on Monday evening and arrived in a pair of towering Christian Louboutin stilettos. At the base of Cannes’ intimidating staircase, she made a bold statement when she removed her shoes after a photo call and scaled the steps barefoot into the theatre.

    cannes no flats rule

    James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock

    Although sure, we’ve been known to kick off our heels after a long night out and swap into flats, this barefoot expedition up the stairs had an underlying feminist message.

    Kristen, who’s been outspoken about her hatred of the no flats rule, clearly meant it as a screw you to Cannes’ dress code (though we’re sure comfort played into it too).

    cannes no flats rule

    James McCauley/REX/Shutterstock

    In 2016, Kristen pulled a similar stunt when she wore black trainers around Cannes and then swapped into a pair of silver heels just for the photo call. You won’t have to work hard to dissect the meaning behind that particular statement either, as she flipped off photographers at the photo call.

    A week before flipping the bird at Cannes, she told Vanity Fair, ‘It has become really obvious that if [a man and I] were walking the red carpet together and someone stopped me and said, ‘Excuse me, young lady, you’re not wearing heels. You cannot come in.’ Then [I’m going to say], ‘Neither is my friend. Does he have to wear heels?’ It can work both ways. It’s just like you simply cannot ask me to do something that you are not asking him. I get the black-tie thing but you should be able to do either version—flats or heels.’

    cannes no flats rule

    Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

    This year’s Cannes Festival is an incredibly politically charged one in the wake of the Time’s Up Movement and string of Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment allegations, especially given that the President of the jury this year is Cate Blanchett who is not going quietly. She’s shut down sexist questions at panels, insisted on a more diverse and female jury alongside Khadja Nin, Ava Duvernay and more and lately made a powerful statement when she led a Cannes protest in the spirit of Time’s Up.

    Walking arm in arm with 82 other women which included Kristen Stewart, Patty Jenkins, Salma Hayek, both she and Palme d’Or winning director Agnes Varda gave moving speeches that set the tone for the festival.

    cannes no flats rule

    David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

    Cate said, ‘As women we all face our own unique challenges but we stand togetehr on these steps today as a symbol of our dedication and our commitment to progress. We are writers, we are producers, we are directors, actresses, cinematogrpahers, talent agents, sales agents and al of us are involved in the cinematic arts. And we stand here today in solidarity with women of all industries.’

    However, Cannes clearly still has work to do. While the jury may be more diverse, the film selection is still lagging behind as only three of the twenty one films selected for awards consideration had female directors.

    Reading now