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.