“You don’t have to have lots of clothes in order to be chic. But you most certainly have to have the right clothes.” 
Sophie Gimbel, American designer
(The Courier News, November 13, 1940)

1935, Jan 13 | Mr. and Mrs. Adam Gimbel
Photgraphed at Palm Beach, Fla., where they are enjoying a winter sojourn
Source: © Bettmann/CORBIS

Mrs. Sophie Gimbel, born Sophie Haas, was one of the world's most influential designers in the Thirties: she was head of the custom-made department of Saks Fifth Avenue and her husband Adam was president of the same enterprise.

André Perugia was their best shoe designer: in 1933 he had created the brand Padova, which was exclusively distributed within the U.S by Saks.

If truth be told, we should have added a question mark to the title. In the photograph above Mrs Sophie Gimbel wears a sandal that looks like a Perugia sandal; maybe it was another variation, maybe not. What we do know is that the sandal was available in two versions (at least): one with a flat sole, the other with an upward tip oriental-style (shown below).

1935 | Three Models designed by André Perugia for his own brand Padova
Source: Le Modes magazine

Apparently these three Padova models are not to be found anywhere, so just for now, the André Perugia patents would do it. Anyway, about the sandal here below, you are in for a little surprise .

1934 | André Perugia - Padova
Patent USD92201, Filed March 19 | Granted May 8
Source: Google Patents

1934 | Edward Steichen
Model Wearing (PADOVA) Sandals | DETAIL
Source: Vogue June 1, 1934 | © Condé Nast Publications

Can't be mistaken: it'a a PADOVA sandal. Check out all the details and you'll see for yourself: bicolor sole, the mini studs, the buckle and the little triangular leather strip on the neck of the foot. We took the liberty to publish the photo rotated by 90° degrees clockwise, so we apologize to Mr. Steichen.

1934 | Edward Steichen
Model Wearing (PADOVA) Sandals | DETAIL
Source: Vogue July, 1934 | © Condé Nast Publications

The photo was originally published as a full page spread with only the last name of the photographer credited, so two months later Vogue France run an errata (poorly noticed):

We apologize for not indicating that these interesting sandals, published on the July issue, page 20, were Padova creations (André Perugia, Director). These are modernized gladiator sandals in red kid or white suede. The ingenious buckle makes a perfect fit.

1934 | Vogue Magazine (France) | Errata Corrige
Source: Vogue Magazine, September 1934
1934 | André Perugia - Padova
Patent USD92202, Filed March 19 | Granted May 8
Source: Google Patents

1935 | Custom Footwear By PADOVA | Paris
All designed by André Perugia
Source: Shoe Icons


1934 | André Perugia - Padova
Patent USD91728, Filed February 9 | Granted March 13
Source: Google Patents

1947 | Luca Librando | Milan
Creative director at
URIC Magazine