Paradise Platform Shoes, Late 1940s

Yesterday we took a look at 1940s wartime shoes in a 1943 ad, so to contrast, here is a recent purchase from my collection.  These are later, as evidenced by the colorful suede used to make them.  Platform soles had been introduced in the late 1930s, but it was not until wartime that they caught on in the United States.  After the war they remained in style until the early 1950s.

As the war was winding down you began to see a change in the fashion magazines.  Colorful prints in bright colors started making their way into clothing.  As soon as wartime restrictions were eased, shoes followed suit.  Fuchsia was a popular choice for footwear.

In France, platforms might have been as thick as two inches, but the trend was more conservative in the States.  You find US made platforms as thick as an inch or so, but the half inch ones of my shoe are more often found.

These shoes were originally sold in a store in Charlotte, NC.  Unfortunately the print has worn and I have no idea of the name of the store.  Perhaps someone familiar with old Charlotte stores will stumble in here and enlighten me.

The shoes were made by Paradise, known a bit later for their Paradise Kittens line.   A bit of online looking led me to some old ads for Paradise, which showed that the brand was made by Brauer Brothers Manufacturing in St. Louis, Missouri.  From there I fell down a rabbit hole of interesting information.

Brauer Brothers has roots going back to the 19th century.  The grandfathers of the founders, Arthur and Edward Brauer, were a saddlemaker and a shoe manufacturer.  Brauer Brothers was established in 1898 as a maker of leather sporting goods.   In 1919 the company started a division for making shoes for women and children.

By 1938 the company was being run by Arthur Junior.  In the 1940s and 50s Paradise shoes were designed by his wife, Jane Franklin Brauer, who I have to thank for my lovely shoes.

But tragedy struck in 1956 when Arthur and their daughter were killed in a plane crash.  Jane remarried several years later and opened an antique store where all the profits were donated to charity.  Interestingly, Jane died less than a month ago, on September 26, 2013.

And a note for baseball fans, Stephen Brauer, Arthur and Jane’s son, is part owner of the St. Louis Cardinals.






Filed under Shoes

15 responses to “Paradise Platform Shoes, Late 1940s

  1. Diana Coleman

    Lizzie… will get tired of my comments…but all of these blogs about shoes do bring back memories. My first pair of platforms were made for me by one of the local shoe factories in Auburn as a gift. They were dark green snakeskin and gorgeous ! This was probably in about 1948.

    I also expect that Paradise shoes used G&S counters. My father and later, my brother, traveled throughout New England, NY, PA and St. Louis. I will ask my brother, who is now 90, about Brauer Brothers.


  2. Such a fantastic blog — absolutely phenomenal!


  3. I’m in LUST…these are so so amazing! The color is still so vibrant.


  4. Oh my goodness! I’m in love with those! How fantastic!


  5. Love the color of these! So well made ❤


  6. Those are just fabulous! I mean what a find. I can’t wait ’til I come across something as grand as those beauties. I’m always impressed by your research skills. I often come across interesting vintage labels and am limited to what I can find searching google. What’s your secret? 🙂 So many times I have wanted to ask for your knowledge/help with a brand 🙂 as I’m sure you would know the answer I’m looking for. You’re blog is super special. ❤️


  7. Wow! Love these shoes. I’m not a heels wearer unless they’re platforms. For some weird reason I feel more at ease in them.


  8. Oh, they are gorgeous!….and I’m positive that they are my size!!


  9. Thanks for sharing the adorable pair of platforms. Personally I never owned a pair of platforms….My feet were always so big, that I always tried to down play them by wearing plain pumps with heels.


  10. Such an interesting back-story Lizzie. They are beautiful shoes indeed. 🙂


  11. And here I thought only Arche shoes from France used such vibrant suede colors! These are treasures.


  12. Such gorgeous shoes, and a fascinating backstory too. Thank you!


  13. What a gorgeous color! And they are in such good condition. Thank goodness for the internet, which leads us down so many rabbit holes.


  14. Beautiful shoes! I found a pair of vintage Jerry Edouard’s–handmade Greek, 1960s–at a thrift shop of all places! Here’s a link if you want to see:


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