1952 | THE GLOVED ARCH BY SALVATORE FERRAGAMO [AKA FERRAGAMO V/S LEVINE]


Look at the “gloved arch”. It’s a spool-heeled masterpiece that hugs the curve of the foot in suede, soles only where it touches the ground; it gloves everything but the short front sole in one unbroken sweep of texture and colour. Ferragamo’s newest device toward a more delicate shoe, toward a softer tread. 
Salvatore Ferragamo at Farmer’s advertisement
The Sunday Herald | March 29, 1953

1953 | Salvatore Ferragamo at Farmer’s 
The “Gloved Arch”
Source: The Sunday Herald | March 29, 1953



"The gloved arches give more support and the covered toes give more protection, yet, because of the lightweight leathers, these 'closed up' shoes are as easy on the foot as a sandal." 
Salvatore Ferragamo
Union-Sun & Journal | Lockport, NY January 21, 1957


HAS FERRAGAMO CREATED THE WORLD’S MOST BEAUTIFUL SHOE?

No, we don’t think so, and it is debatable whether the "gloved arches give more support" or not; however it was a clever idea and never seen before. It was patented between April 3 and July 22, 1952 in Italy, France, U.K. and U.S.A.; the British were the last to grant the patent (October 26, 1955), followed by the French (March 16, 1954).

The magazine cover seen on the lower bottom of the Sunday Herald ad is Vogue UK and the full page shows the photograph here below. 



1952 | Salvatore Ferragamo | The “Gloved Arch”
Photograph: Herbert Matter
Source: Vogue UK - October 1952

1952 | Salvatore Ferragamo | The Gloved Arch 
U.S. Patent drawing | Filed July 22, 1952 | Granted July 14, 1953
Source: Google Patents


According to the invention a shoe is provided having a heel, an upper the side portions of which are extended in the form of flaps which meet underneath the shank of the shoe and an outer sole which terminates short of the heel, wherein the said flaps are extended rearwardly so as to cover the upper portion of the front of the heel.

From the U.K. patent specification
Filed May 20, 1952 | Granted October 26, 1955 



1952 | Salvatore Ferragamo
The Gloved Arch and its Italian patent


We may be wrong, but shoes with the Gloved Arch can't be found anywhere but the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum.


SALVATORE FERRAGAMO
I N D E X



FOOTNOTE


1956 | Beth & Herbert Levine
The model Under Construction
Source: “Beth Levine Shoes” (Stewart Tabori & Chang, 2009)


(The model) Under Construction was revolutionary on that it has only a half-sole under the ball of the foot, and the underside of the arch is embellished leather so the shoe will “fit like a glove”.

From: “Beth Levine Shoes” (Stewart Tabori & Chang, 2009)



1956 | Beth Levine
Patent paperwork filed April 10, 1956 | Granted January 1, 1957
Source: Google Patents



As much as we like Beth Levine, “Under Construction” wasn’t revolutionary - not even in the first place - smart, but not revolutionary. The book also says 1955 even though the American patent was filed April 10, 1956.

It’s only a guess, but we don’t think Beth Levine knew of the Ferragamo model, nor the “fit like a glove” coming from her, but still, the similarity is striking. Levine’s looks nicer though.


BETH & HERBERT LEVINE
I N D E X



1956 | Beth & Herbert Levine
The model "Under Construction"
Source: “The Seductive Shoe” by Jonathan Walford (Stewart Tabori & Chang, 2007)


 

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