Tag Archives: shoe advertising

Ad Campaign – Eskiloos, 1960

The big draw for winter is ESKILOOS

(warm, washable, over-the-sock boots)

Eskiloos – the sleek-fitting, snug-feeling, smart-looking news!  Made by U.S. Rubber of striking new fabrics, all warmly lined, all winterproofed.  Light on the feet, yet sturdy.

I don’t need to tell you that I love these, right?  That if I had a time machine before me with only one trip to the past I’d set the dial to “wherever the newest in shoes is sold,”  September 1960?  I’d buy five pairs in both styles, in all the colors available so I’d have a lifetime supply of Eskiloos.


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Ad Campaign – Fiancées Shoes, 1960

Inspiration…the golden touch of Fiancées!

Inspiration…Andy Warhol!

The golden shoe in the ad sure looks like a Warhol work to me, but nowhere on the page of the Fiancées ad could I find his name or signature.   It could actually be his work, but I’ve not been able to find this particular shoe, nor have I located information about Warhol ever having worked for Clark Shoes (the owner of the Fiancées brand).  Still it is possible, as Warhol was still working as an illustrator in 1960, and still very much into illustrating shoes.  But by 1960 he was really making a name for himself, and it is puzzling as to why a company using his work would not display the fact that this up-and-coming artist had illustrated their ad.

While working as an illustrator in the 1950s, Warhol began experimenting with gold decorated shoe drawings.  In 1957 he had a showing of them at a NYC gallery and was surprised that they sold well at $50 to $225 each.  Today they bring about $40,000 each.

Warhol’s art continues to inspire.  From the fall/winter 2012 Dior collection:

Photo copyright:  Giani Pucci, InDigitalteam, GoRunway.com

Photo copyright:  Giani Pucci, InDigitalteam, GoRunway.com

Photo copyright:  Giani Pucci, InDigitalteam, GoRunway.com

Photo copyright: Monica Feudi, Feudiguaineri.com


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Ad Campaign – Moc-Abouts 1943

So soft they’re like putty in your hands; yet so sturdy that your kid brother couldn’t wear them out.  These impish moccasin-oxfords were styled by A.G. Spalding for Kay’s Newport… and they’re about the most wonderful shoes afoot.

I’m still in a moccasins sort of mind.  I was actually hopeful that I’d find an ad for my own Philflex Sporties, but I came up empty.  But one interesting observation from looking at dozens of shoe ads from 1938 through 1946 was that sport shoes like these were heavily advertised.  And note that the ad points out how these will be hard to wear out.   That was very important by 1943 when shoes were getting harder and harder to replace.

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Ad Campaign – Bernardo, 1972

By the time this Bernardo ad was published in 1972, Bernardo had been in business for 26 years.  The line was started in 1947 by Bernard and Berta Rudofsky.  Interestingly, there is a connection to Western North Carolina.  In 1944 Bernard and Berta spent some time at Black Mountain College, where he gave some lectures on the sad state of modern clothing.  One lecture was titled “How Can People Expect to Have Good Architecture When They Wear Such Clothes?”

Berta was inspired to get together a class in sandalmaking.  She must have learned quite a bit, because two years later they started Bernardo.  Through the years Bernardo sandals were hand sewn in Italy, the country that provided much of the inspiration for the designs.

In the 1960s and 70s, Bernardos were the brand of choice of the Jet Set, especially after Jackie Kennedy was photographed wearing one of her sixteen pairs of the “Miami” sandal.  As the ad shows, some styles were so popular that they were produced year after year.

I’m always on the lookout for vintage Bernardos, but only have found one pair.  A plus, they came in the original box with the wrapping tissue.

The brand had all but died out when it was revived in the early 2000s.   Some of their special sandals are still made in Italy, with the remainder being made in Brazil, still using the hand sewn method of their past.   And the company’s designs are true to the originals.   Last year, the company released a line of sandals from the Bernardo archive, called Bernardo Icons.

I kept meaning to buy a pair, but I am hard to fit when it comes to shoes so I was afraid to order them.  I was delighted that my local privately owned shoe store carries Bernardo, and so I ended up with a pair. (Note to people in WNC, Tops still has some Icons, and they are in the Clearance Room.)  I can see why they were/are so popular.  For such a flat sandal, they are very comfortable.  But more than that, they look fantastic!

I couldn’t resist a little comparing of the vintage and the new.  It is remarkable how the shape of the sole is  exactly the same in both shoes.

And one more vintage ad.  This one has the same Roman statue foot that is printed on their wrapping paper!

What is so remarkable is that the Rudofskys were intellectuals, not fashion people.  He was an architect and artist, and to learn more about his remarkable life, do watch the video.


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Ad Campaign – Joyce Shoes, 1948

As promised, here is another sandal ad, and another one from Joyce Shoes of Pasadena, California.  This is their Maracaibo line of 1948, inspired by the shapes and colors of Venezuela.  During WWI and for several years afterward when travel to Europe was greatly curtailed, the countries of South America provided a lot of fashion inspiration.

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Ad Campaign – Cool-ees by Joyce, 1940

All Cool-ees by Joyce are not carried by all stores, but most good stores carry Cool-ees.

The Joyce Shoe company of Pasadena, California was in business at least from 1940 into the 1980s.  It was founded by William Joyce.  In 1950 the factory suffered a terrific fire which destroyed much of the company’s inventory.  Newspaper reports of the time show employees sifting through the smoldering building looking for things to salvage.  I’ve got to wonder if any of those smoky shoes actually made it onto the market!


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Ad Campaign – Kedettes, 1953

I did promise to feature shoes this month in the ad campaign, and so now I’m making good on that promise.  Kedettes was a division of the United States Rubber Company’s Keds brand, making canvas and rubber casual shoes for women.

Some of the shoes in the ad look a bit dowdy to me, but have you ever seen a cuter thing than that Gay Espadrille?  The shoes came with two sets of laces – one to match; one to contrast, and they were available in twelve different colors.  They actually made it for several years in the early 50s, so why is it that I’ve never found a pair?

A few years ago Keds had a collection based on updated versions of the old Kedettes of the 1940s and 1950s.   Most of them had 2 -3 inch wedge heels , which lessened the appeal to me considerably…


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