Footprint: The Track of Shoes in Fashion
Footprint serves as both a personal journey for its authors as well as a chronicle of designers whose focus is on one of the most coveted of accessories for most women: shoes. Yes, there are men’s shoes included here but the primary focus is women’s shoes in all their glory.
The book speaks to what makes fashion great and what makes for the brilliant retailers and merchants who truly pioneered all aspects of fashion more than 30 years ago. Mr. Bruloot offers a series of redacted discussions as well as essays and biographical information about so many of the featured designers.
There are the usual suspects like Blahnik, Ferragamo, and Vivier but there are so many names who have either been swept under the rug or forgotten and then there are names which you might not even ring a bell. Think of Terry de Havilland, Tokio Kumigai, or Patrick Cox and then add in designers who are better known for their apparel as in Alaia, Margiela, or Gigli. The reader is afforded an amazingly broad spectrum of designers who all contributed to the meteoric rise of the shoe business.
As with many books of this genre the author reminds us that very little hasn’t been done before; meaning that what might be seen as innovative today was equally so 30 years ago if you were fully immersed in the subject and knew what was going on. One glaring example is the original pussycat flat as opposed to the 2010 or so Charlotte Olympia version. The reader is once again made aware of the fact that so called innovation is hardly what it seems as so much has just been rehashed and literally copied from what once was by designers who never received the attention that they deserved in the first place.
This is one of those books that is visually wonderful as well as highly informative. There is much to be learned and enjoyed with Footprint, which certainly should be an essential part of one’s fashion library.