Kristen Stewart clearly believes that actresses should have the right to choose their shoes. On Monday, the Twilight star took a barefooted step forward in the fight against the Cannes Film Festival’s rumored high heels policy by slipping out of her stilettos on the red carpet.
As reported by the Telegraph, Kristen Stewart was attending the premiere of her movie BlacKkKlansman when she decided to ditch her black Louboutins and walk up the stairs barefoot. It was raining, so the Cannes Film Festival jury member had to brave a soggy red carpet to stage her silent protest against an alleged rule that women must wear high heels to gain entrance to the posh event’s movie screenings. However, while Stewart didn’t mind getting her feet wet, someone with an umbrella was at her side to ensure that the rest of her body and her silver Chanel dress didn’t get soaked.
Cannes’ alleged high heels only policy causes controversy every year when female stars walk the festival’s red carpet in their glamorous gowns and fashionable footwear. However, there’s some confusion over the Cannes dress code for women when it comes to which shoes they’re allowed to wear on the red carpet. According to Screen Daily, some women reported being turned away from movie premieres in 2015 because they were wearing flats. The festival initially responded to reports about the high heel requirement by confirming that it is indeed part of the red carpet dress code. However, according to the Hollywood Reporter, festival director Thierry Fremaux later said that the existence of a high heel policy was just a rumor.
While talking to BBC Newsbeat about shoegate, Cannes Film Festival spokeswoman Christine Aimé seemingly blamed the event’s hosts and hostesses for misinterpreting the vague dress code, which only says that women are required to wear formal clothing for movie screenings. She told the outlet that the hosts and hostesses were reminded that there is no rule stating that a woman’s heels must be a certain height.
Even though multiple Cannes officials have denied that the high heel policy exists, Kristen Stewart seemingly believes that it does. During a 2016 interview with Vanity Fair, she spoke about how she would react if she were told that she must wear high heels on the red carpet.
“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?'” Stewart said. “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.”
Stewart may not be a big fan of high heels, but she did keep her Louboutins on for a few Cannes red carpet photos. She even cracked a small smile while rocking her stilettos.
If Kristen Stewart’s barefoot trek up the stairs was meant to be a rebellion against wearing high heels on the Cannes red carpet, she wouldn’t be the first actress to kick off her shoes in protest. According to Newsweek, Julia Roberts also walked the red carpet barefoot in 2016. That same year, Footwear News reported that Kristen Stewart removed another pair of Louboutin pumps and walked across a lawn during a Cannes photo call.