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.
July 13, 2014 § 2 Comments
Growing up on the Gulf Coast of Florida there wasn’t whole lot of surfing going on. We still had a surf shop though and lived by the beach, so spent most of our time in flip flops or zoris, which is what my dad called them. I remember when Surfing Thongs became popular. There wasn’t anything that had that cushiony feel when you walked. They were light, but thick. I loved them. Now that summer’s here and we’re getting ready to make our annual exodus from the city to visit Grandma in Florida I find myself reminiscing about the first time I tried a pair on. How unusual they seemed from the regular flip flops we would buy at the five & dime store near the beach. No wonder now my favorite summer shoe is Ginger by Reef.
April 12, 2014 § 17 Comments
When I think of my favorite shoes growing up 3 come to mind. My huaraches from Mexico. My dad taught us to stand in the bathtub with them on and then wear until dry so they could conform to your feet. My moccasins that were sent to us every year — I always thought from a friend of my dad’s at Minnetonka. I only just recently learned that my Dad had worked as a designer and stylist for Minnehaha (a contemporary or Minnetonka) in the 1950’s — one of the advantages of having a dad in the shoe business who was well liked was the shoes that came with that. Read more about my dad who would wake us up singing “there’s no business like shoe business ” — Ode To An Older Parent And Tribute To The Veteran In My Life by award winning Television writer sister Liz Benjamin. It pretty much says it all.
…and my 3rd favorite were my Penny Loafers. Going to school in Florida I wore them without socks and always with 2 new Pennies.
In 1936 George Henry Bass created the first Penny Loafer based on a Norwegian farm shoe and called them Weejuns.
March 16, 2014 § 11 Comments
In 1952 my grandfather Ben Benjamin became the General Manager for the I. Miller Shoe Company.
Follow up to the 2008 New York Times article: At Restored Landmark in Times Square, Mixing ‘Brash and Beautiful’
Andy Warhol found early success as a commercial artist and was hired by I. Miller as their chief illustrator in the 1950’s.
March 11, 2014 § 9 Comments
Winter in New York City is messy. I just got back from a lovely visit with family in sunny California. The day I left it snowed and the day I returned it snowed. I’m ready to shed my winter layers and put my sandals on. I fantasize about moving somewhere warmer.
For now though, while still deep into this unusual and painful arctic winter – I thought I would indulge myself with some images of Summer.
February 17, 2014 § 2 Comments
I’m embarrassed to admit on a blog about shoes that I had really never heard of Bata shoes.
I was telling my husband about a shoe museum I’d found in Toronto Canada called The Bata Shoe Museum when he pulled out a childhood photo from Peru. He told me he had begged is mother for the shoes he’s wearing in it — his Wayfinder Shoes by Bata. Embedded in the heal was a compass that fell out after only wearing them a few times. He remembered the stores were all over Lima.
The company Bata shoes was founded in 1894 in Czechoslovakia and was one of the first real shoe manufacturerers. If you’d like to know more about the history of Bata Shoes click the link here.
February 9, 2014 § Leave a comment
January 26, 2014 § 4 Comments
I recently found this fabulous photo of my mother–no wonder she ran kicking and screaming from Manhattan when my grandfather retired to Florida, and we followed. I love the clogs she’s wearing. It reminded me of a store on Beach Drive in St. Petersburg we use to visit that only sold Scandinavian products called The Straw Goat.
I will definitely be writing more at a later date on my mother who was voted Dream Girl at The University of Wisconsin. Feeling nostalgic on this snowy day I decided to take a trip to one of my favorite places — The Scandinavia House.
January 23, 2014 § 2 Comments
Luigino Rossi and my father Arthur Benjamin worked together in the (1970’s). Mr. Rossi told my Dad about finding a hidden room behind a wall in his home in Italy filled with paintings and one looked just like me. I’ll never know if it was true, but what a fun story to tell a child. I never forgot it.