Design House House of Balenciaga French
Designer Steven Arpad French
Not on view
These unlabelled shoes are undoubtedly the work of Steven Arpad, whose extraordinarily creative, unique, and unusual designs form a highlight of the Brooklyn Museum collection. The collection of over seventy-five shoe prototypes by Arpad and an extensive archive of sketches from 1939 appears to be the only documented body of his work. No labeled or otherwise credited examples of Arpad's footwear are known to exist, however extant shoes for Balenciaga and Delman can be positively attributed to Arpad though the archive. This pair of shoes may well have been produced for a Parisian couture house. Although the platform sole was an important design element in the late 1930s and 1940s, Arpad’s design here makes reference to the 17th century slap sole. Although peculiar, the design avoids freakishness by remaining simple, including the novel back closure.