Steven Arpad1939

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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.

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  • Title: Boots
  • Creator: Steven Arpad
  • Fashion House: House of Balenciaga
  • Date Created: 1939
  • Type: shoe
  • External Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Collection Online
  • Medium: leather
  • Culture: French
  • Credit Line: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection, 1947
  • Creator Death Date: 1999
  • Creator Birth Date: 1904
  • Accession Number: 2009.300.1392a, b