Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Model No. 172

Designer:
Steven Arpad (French, 1904–1999)
Date:
1939
Culture:
French
Medium:
leather, wood
Credit Line:
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Arpad, 1947
Accession Number:
2009.300.1141
Not on view
This object comes from a group of over seventy-five shoe prototypes designed in Paris in 1939 by Steven Arpad. Aside from the lines of leather accessories and jewelry he produced under his own name in the 1940s, Arpad seems to have worked mostly anonymously. The prototypes are accompanied by an extensive archive of original sketches which has made it possible to identify uncredited shoe designs for Balenciaga and Delman as Arpad's work. Containing some of the most creative, unique, and unusual examples of footwear design in the collection, the museum's holdings appear to be the only documented body of the work of this extraordinary designer.
In this design, Arpad interprets a classic cut of the period, the open-toe d'Orsay ankle strap, with a novel and dexterous handling of the leather to create a folded effect. The design is as much an experiment in color as in leather manipulation and creative structure.
Marking: Inscribed: "172"
Inscribed: "40 Decorative use for placement from 39"
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