Vintage Vara

I guess I’m a sucker for classic vintage.

Classic is timeless, classic is elegant and it’s safe – not to be confused with boring. When it comes to investment bags and shoes, it’s best to stick with enduring quality, especially if you’re on a budget. At least that’s my feeling.  So when I scour the vintage markets my eyes always seem to travel to the designers who stand the test of time. And I have a good eye for certain pieces of value.  When you buy well-designed vintage that never goes out of style you can always mix it up with something current.

My black varas with grosgrain bow. The other pair is pewter with leather bow.

At the Palm Springs Vintage Market I recently bought a pair of perfect fitting, barely worn Ferragamo Vara Pumps.  Only one pair in my exact size.  They were obviously waiting for me.

This is my second pair.  Last year I also bought a pair of Vara Pumps (in photo) at this same market.  Again; one pair in my size. Before I tried the first pair on I always associated these shoes with either matronly women or sensible ones who work in offices, of which I am neither.

Even though you can’t beat the craftsmanship, I was never looking to own a pair until my practical side got the better of me. Also I enjoy the thrill of the find.

So when a person in their 20’s and a person in their 80’s can wear the very same shoe with panache, that’s what I call a true CLASSIC!

From the 35th anniversary celebrating Ferragamo’s superlative Vara shoes. Embracing technology and hi-tech consumers, the Italian fashion house worked with New York-based photographer Cedric Buchet for a digital campaign featuring 14 modern iconic women, collectively known as the Vara Girls, in snapshots of their daily lives.  Photo: South China Morning Post. 2014.

Below taken from:

https://www.designer-vintage.com/

Salvatore Ferragamo: the grandpa of the Italian shoe

When most shoe lovers think about designer shoes, the first designers that come to their minds are Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo or Manolo Blahnik. All super gorgeous, but incredibly high heels. Little do they know, that one the first popular designer heel was a very comfortable one: Ferragamo’s Vara pump. One of the most sold pair of shoes worldwide and an iconic shoe that breathes beauty, craftsmanship and above all, comfort.

Photo: Olivia Palermo

The midheel, calfskin pump is detailed with a gros-grain bow on the toe, fastened with a metal buckle, with the family signature engraved in the leather. The shoe is designed to fit into the lifestyle of a sporty yet elegant woman.

The Ferragamo empire started with Salvatore Ferragamo, an innovator in footwear design. Salvatore was born in Bonito, Italy as the 11th of 14 children in a humble, agricultural family. Ever since he was young, he was determined to become a shoe maker and started his first apprenticeship in Naples at a cobbler, when he was only 9 years old. He moved back to Bonito while he was still an adolescent, and he opened his workshop with six assistants, where he produced custom-fitted shoes. His brother worked in the States during that time and he invited Salvatore to come to the US, Salvatore only being 17 years old. So he went to Santa Barbara, to open his own repair shop, where he repaired the shoes of celebrities. In 1923, he opened the Hollywood Boot Shop, where celebrities could buy outrageous footwear, with appliques, glitter, feathers and pearls. He was named the ‘Shoemaker of the stars’, designing for stars like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. Soon enough Ferragamo labels could be found all over the States.

His standards for measuring and sizing, combined with originality, influenced the entire shoe-industry.

Do you have a favorite classic?

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