Model No. 487

Design House House of Balenciaga French
Designer Steven Arpad French

Not on view

Published in Vogue in October 1939 as a design for Balenciaga, this pair of extraordinary shoes is actually the work of designer Steven Arpad, and appears in the Arpad archive at the Brooklyn Museum as Model No. 487. Like many designers, most of Arpad's work seems to have been done anonymously and released under the name of an established fashion house, so the Museum's archive and collection of shoe prototypes by Arpad provide the sole documentation of this portion of the designer's oeuvre. In this fantastical interpretation of footwear, Arpad presents an intensely inventive and unique rendition of the platform sole, an important feature at the time. Although the source of inspiration is not known, the arched supports strongly recall building or aqueduct forms, underlining the parallel numerous clothing designers have made between fashion and architecture.

Model No. 487, House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937), silk, wood, American

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.