Andy Warhol | Shoe Illustrations.

March 2, 2019 § Leave a comment

New York Times, April 17th, 1955

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.

New York Times, March 4th, 1956

The Historialist Of Shoes And Shoemakers: Ben Benjamin I. Miller

Ben Benjamin, General Manager I. Miller

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Heavenly Bodies Part 1.

May 20, 2018 § 1 Comment

HEAVENLY BODIES, FASHION AND THE CATHOLIC IMAGINATION | The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This is by far one of the most beautiful exhibits I’ve experienced at The Met. It’s at 2 sites. The Fifth Avenue Museum and The Cloisters. I haven’t had a chance to visit the Cloisters yet, hence the Part 1. I’ll post back with photos from The Cloisters at a later date. I love how the fashion is blended with the artwork. The music is pretty fantastic too. If I had to choose a favorite piece it would have to be the black silk taffeta dress by Alexander Mcqueen. This is just a very small sampling.  Be sure to click on the videos to get more of a feel for the exhibit.

Alexander Mcqueen

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Versace

Thinking Of Spring.

April 27, 2018 § Leave a comment

Prada

Source: Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations

 

 

Ben Benjamin, 1934 & Salvatore Ferragamo, 2015.

April 14, 2018 § Leave a comment

After a while I stopped patenting styles. It didn’t pay.   – Ben Benjamin


Salvatore Ferragamo

Lynn, Massachusetts | photos circa 1895.

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

 

Partners.

February 1, 2018 § Leave a comment

Ben Benjamin: “Cause while he met me he didn’t know anything about me, so uh he went and spoke to his old boss about me, and a few other people. His old boss says to him, he says if you two can get along, he says you can be the biggest men in this town in the shoe business. He says you (Ben Schwartz) in the selling end of it and Ben running the factory. He’s a good factory man, designer – but you’ve got to learn to live with one another, and we got a long fine – When I first told him I wanted to get out, he says no, he wouldn’t let me. Now in all those years, we never had a fight. We never had an argument.”

 

 

Shorty Boots.

January 20, 2018 § Leave a comment

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Underwater Christmas Tree At Weekiwachee Springs, December, 1948.

December 24, 2017 § 1 Comment

c007937Santa. (1)

Courtesy The Florida Memory Project Department of Commerce collection

Steve Madden Buys Schwartz and Benjamin.

December 20, 2017 § Leave a comment

For the record.

Steve Madden Snaps Up Schwartz & Benjamin  FN 1/30/17

torn label -Schwartz & Benjamin

Bebe Schwartz and Ben Schwartz 1972

Ben Schwartz with daughter Bebe

Ben Benjamin 1972

Ben Benjamin (Left)

The Back Story

Labor Day, Saying Goodbye To Summer.

September 4, 2017 § 1 Comment

For most of us Labor Day marks the end of Summer, the beginning of the school year and a time to get together with our family and friends, but for some it’s the last day you can wear white.  Raised in casual Florida I never understood when my Southern friends would start wearing their white pants in May and then put them away after Labor Day.  I love the look and there’s no hard and fast rule anymore. White clothes tend to be made of lighter fabrics so it just makes sense that we wouldn’t wear them in the Winter, unless of course you’re some place warm.

 

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