Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Herman Delman, 1955
Not on view
Herman Delman (1895 -1955) is remembered as the great showman of the New York footwear industry. Targeting wealthy socialites and celebrities as his customers, Delman opened a small custom shoe shop on Madison Avenue in 1919. Gradually shifting his attentions to manufacturing, Delman hired top designers, most notably Roger Vivier, to create finely-crafted, chic and luxurious footwear in stand-out designs. Delman was a savvy promoter who realized that product image was paramount. He pioneered the practice of featuring film stars in his advertisements and partnered with exclusive clothing stores, including Saks and Bergdorf Goodman, to distribute his shoes. Contrary to common practice, Delman insisted that his name appear in every shoe he manufactured, thus securing his company's reputation and success. This tour-de-force pair of oversize shoes was probably made for exhibition purposes. The unique and extraordinary heels feature the coat of arms of the City of Paris with the motto "fluctuat nec mergitur": "it is tossed by the waves but does not sink."
Marking: Stamped: "Created by Delman/New York and Paris" Stamped: "Pat. Des. 96620"