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I photographed a lovely pair of shoes today for sale.  I have tried and tried to make these shoes my own but the heels are deceptively high.  I’m not sure if it’s the angle at which the heel rises or the actual height of the heel–but they’re just too high for me!

I. Miller and Sons Shoes ad

I. Miller and Sons Shoes ad

That being said, I decided to list them in my Etsy shop, The Home Gnome.  I always like to do a little research first on my items, just to make sure I don’t commit the classic faux pas of selling a million dollar item for a mere pittance.  Actually, I have already done just that (well, it wasn’t worth a million dollars, but it WAS worth about 10 times what I sold it for!)  As I researched I. Miller and Sons shoes, I came across a very interesting connection with Andy Warhol.  He was actually the illustrator for the shoe brand in the 1950s–way before he hit it big.  Warhol was commissioned to breathe new life into the shoe brand–which he did–with pop art illustrations foreshadowing the styles that would make him famous.

Geraldine Stutz:

“I. Miller was a beautiful old name, fashion name, in shoes. Probably the most recognizable name in shoes… and shoes are synonymous with I. Miller. That was a reputation that had been built by ‘old’ I. Miller, whose name was Israel, Ivan Israel… who was a theatrical shoe maker with enormous flair for promotion. He had built this name so that it was interchangeable with shoe fashion in this country… it was a successful business, and the name was magic, but it had got a little old-hat, a little passé… slightly over-the-hill. The campaign that Peter [Palazzo] designed and that Andy was the artist [for]… made an enormous difference in how the name ‘I. Miller’ was perceived by women. It made it contemporary, up-to-date.”13

For more about Andy Warhol an this connection, you may find this article interesting

1930s window shopping at I. Miller Shoes

1930s window shopping at I. Miller Shoes

And, for a thorough discussion of I. Miller, the famous I. Miller building, Andy Warhol and NYC architecture, check out this article/forum thread

And now, for the shoes:

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