Rayne Shoes for Stars

Image of Rayne Shoes for Stars
Release Date: 
July 12, 2015
Antique Collectors Club
Reviewed by: 

In today’s world of fashion, it can be safely assumed that the name Rayne goes relatively unrecognized and unknown. We are surrounded by the Louboutins and Blahniks and nary a word of those who made the shoe business what it is today. The legacy of the Rayne brand and family is skillfully and meticulously recounted by Michael Pick.

Pick details a family who pioneered as a well as furthered the business of shoes in becoming an integral category of the business of fashion. There were generations of Raynes who ran this business. Not all the sons shared an enthusiasm for shoes, but what they all shared was vision and “an eye” for fashion.

As much as this book is a biography of the Rayne family, the book serves as an educational accounting of the progression and development of the shoe business in England as well as in the United States. Rayne and Delman (Google that) forged an alliance that was way ahead of its time as well as being prescient within fashion.

Most that do recall the brand will think of it as “mature” when in fact Rayne was extremely fashionable and fashion conscious. Among many of their collaborators are a who’s who of fashion and shoe design including May Quant, Andre Pfister, Bruce Oldfield, Oliver Messel, Bill Gibb, Roger Vivier, Christian Dior, and Norman Hartnell, to name a few.

The appeal of this book lies in one’s curiosity about the founders of fashion, especially those who forged names for themselves in the business of shoes. Picker more than generously offers the reader proof of why Rayne became and remained a leader within its classification. There is an incredible trove of photos as well as the brand’s advertising during its long and revered existence.

The saddest part about so many of these heritage brands is that this generation has never heard of them, and too many of the so-called fashion media neglect to ever speak of them.  Kudos to Michael Pick for reminding us that the name of Rayne rivaled and perhaps surpassed the reputation and integrity of the heralded brands we know today.