Freed Pointe Shoes

August 12, 2018 § 1 Comment

There’s a video circulating on facebook on how Freed pointe shoes are made that my former dancer sister shared with me recently. She reminded me that our grandfather always wanted to inspect her point shoes, especially when she switched from Capezio to Freed. She said he was fascinated by the workmanship. Watch the short video above and you’ll see why!

Pain, satin and paper towels: What it takes for ballerinas to dance on their toes Washington Post May 26, 2017

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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

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.”

 

 

The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge, Face.

May 15, 2016 § 1 Comment

I posted this photo a while back I found of my grandfather from 1972 at the offices of Schwartz and Benjamin in New York.  I wish I knew who the man in the photo was. From the expression on my grandfather’s face and his clenched fist I think it may be Sam Schwartz, Ben Schwartz his former partner’s brother.

Ben Benjamin (Left)

Ben Benjamin (Left)

Another Mystery To Solve And People Who Inspire.

May 12, 2016 § 4 Comments

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Looking for one of my grandfather’s shoe designs I previously found in Google Patents – It seems to have vanished? During my search I clicked on another patent from the same time frame hoping to find a connection.  See the shoe above. I previously mentioned in an earlier post that I thought it looked very similar to a Jimmy Choo design. This time when I clicked on the link I noticed that the patent was indeed referenced by Jimmy Choo and also Hermes. Last summer I took a picture of this Salvatore Ferragamo shoe that also references my grandfather’s original design from 1934.
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So many years later and my grandfather’s designs are still living on. He was a true innovator in women’s fashion who deserves to be recognized for his creativity and ingenuity – the motivation behind starting this blog. As children he told us that when he couldn’t sleep he would lie in bed and imagine fantastic inventions he would create, an orphan that chose the shoe business out of practicality.  Forced to leave school at 13 he rose to be one of the biggest shoe men in New York and even after he retired to Florida was appointed by The Secretary of Labor to represent the US in labor relations in Puerto Rico, the date still a mystery I’m trying to solve. I can only imagine what he would have done with his creativity if the playing field had been more level for him. With my own child starting middle school this fall I toured some of the top-tier NYC private schools – even though I questioned how we would ever pay the 45k yearly tuition. In the end we chose public with our eyes wide open that the playing field in education is indeed not level but there are those that like my grandfather will make it no matter what hand they are dealt. Like my voice teacher Betty Allen whose mother died when she was also 12 and who like my grandfather shared a similarly grim childhood overcoming insurmountable obstacles to live a life that most of us can only hope for.

And like my grandfather she also made her own way. Betty told me after her mother died her father drank and wasn’t taking care of her the way she was use to by her mother so she took the bus to the courthouse in Youngstown Ohio where she lived and told the judge she wanted to be adopted. Since there were no orphanages for black children she was put into foster care where she was made to work and abused and when she was 16 she moved into the YWCA cleaning houses to support herself. Eventually on scholarship she attended Wilberforce College in Wilberforce, Ohio, crediting her success to her teachers. These are the stories that inspire me.  Maybe because I’ve never had to really want the way they both did.  – Again my search for a shoe led me back to why I want to share my grandfather’s story and remember.

Happy Boxing Day And Birthday To My Grandfather Ben Benjamin.

December 26, 2015 § 1 Comment

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Customcraft Shoe Ad Reminiscent Of Salvatore Ferragamo Shoe.

July 3, 2015 § Leave a comment

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Rainbows Everywhere.

June 29, 2015 § Leave a comment

The city is all about color right now.  Leave it to Barneys to create the grooviest window displays and Gap has teamed up with  Big Gay Ice Cream for 30 days of tees and ice cream. Loving The Pride.

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Sun And White | The Shoe Retailer, March 16, 1929.

June 13, 2015 § 4 Comments

1920s Summer Fashion.

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For The Veteran In My Life.

May 23, 2015 § 1 Comment

A short film for Memorial Day Weekend.

Photographers, what kind of camera is my dad holding? Fashion enthusiasts note the Hermès Birkin style handbag.


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