March 2, 2019 § Leave a comment
When most people think of Andy Warhol they think of his Campbell Soup cans or his Marilyn Monroe portrait, but when I think of Andy Warhol I think of his shoe illustrations and that he was the chief illustrator for I. Miller shoes when my grandfather was General Manager in the 1950’s. I like to think they may have worked together, but lately I look at this shoe ad of one of my grandfather’s designs and I have to wonder did he illustrate this? The photos below were taken at The Whitney Museum of Art and The Warhol exhibit ends at the end of March. I was struck by how prolific he was as an artist and how at the time he was creating his pop art many didn’t think it was art and I assume there are some now that still don’t, but regardless of what you think about his art he captured the 20th century creating a better time capsule for future generations than I could ever have imagined through his portraits, illustrations and films.
March 9, 2018 § Leave a comment
A couple years before I got out, before we moved into New York City. We talked it over, Ben Schwartz & I, about starting a factory out of town instead of NY. See? It was getting impossible to lead the business there because of the unions and their demands. Prices kept on going up higher, and new machinery was coming into place. So people out of town who made cheap shoes could make better shoes than what they were making with the new equipment. So we went. We went to Lynn, and Boston and St. Louis, Cincinnati. We went all around. When I came back we sat down and talked it over. I says Ben, after seeing all the towns, I think Lynn is the best place of the lot. A lot of the shoe factories have went out of business there. Not good shoemakers like we’ve got in New York, but they could be trained–taught to make better shoes. After I got out, Ben Schwartz did finally go to Lynn. – Ben Benjamin
All photos courtesy of The Library of Congress
February 20, 2017 § Leave a comment
December 28, 2015 § Leave a comment
January 22, 2015 § Leave a comment
January 2, 2015 § 2 Comments
While doing research on shoes from the 1930s, I stumbled upon this shoe patent for a detachable heel by Inventor Manual S. Gutierrez. It immediately caught my attention because recently two of my favorite fashion history blogs, The Historialist and Jonathan Walford’s Blog, had related posts on interchangeable heels. What I find interesting is that this patent precedes any of the shoes mentioned in their posts. When I think of the Detachable Heel the Famous I. Miller ad from 1954 comes to mind. It never really seemed like a good idea to me, but the novelty is definitely appealing. As Jonathan Walford mentions in his blog the design is still being reinvented. I would love to know more about Manual S. Gutierrez so stay tuned. I couldn’t find anything when I did a search, but he must exist somewhere.