Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Collector's Story

Herbert Levine c.1962-64

One of the questions we get asked most at the Bata Shoe Museum is how we acquire the shoes in our collection. While we collect shoes in a variety of ways, one of the most important is through donations. While museum quality shoes are not easy to come by, some individuals manage to amass beautiful collections of rare and special artefacts. This is the case with collector Katherine Woodward who has donated several beautiful pairs of fashion shoes to the Museum. A shoe enthusiast who lives in Pasadena, California, Katherine was happy to tell us about her history with footwear.

"I loved shoes so much as a kid I insisted on wearing new pairs to bed. I studied fashion merchandising in college and have worked in retail for over 25 years in many capacities including visual display, public relations and sales consulting. While working at Nordstrom and Macy's I collected most of my personal shoe wardrobe. At the start of my fashion career shoes were chosen to complete a look, say a monochromatic colour story. Now I purchase unique, fun shoes with personality that can be worn to make a fashion statement on their own. I see shoes as sculpture more than for adornment or functionality."

Katherine, who studied fashion in college, has donated seven pairs of designer shoes to the Bata Shoe Museum. Once her collection grew too large for her home display space she contacted the Bata Shoe Museum about donating some of her best items to ensure they were properly cared for and preserved. Her donations have been a great addition to our collection and have appeared in multiple exhibitions. One pair is currently on display in our "Fashion Afoot" display, and has the distinction of being Katherine's first major find. These blue sling-backs, designed by Charles Jourdan for Pierre Cardin, were found by Katherine in a thrift store for only $20.00 in 1992!

Pierre Cardin c. 1967-68

Some other amazing finds Katherine has made are 3 pairs of Roger Vivier shoes (her favourite designer) for $20.00 each in a vintage boutique in South Pasadena, California. Her luck at finding shoes of this quality at these prices shows what you can find when you look hard enough! Katherine was kind enough to donate one of these amazing pairs and a matching handbag to the Museum where they appeared in our "Icons of Elegance" display and accompanying catalogue.

Roger Vivier c.1966-68

Katherine's passion for shoe collection continues today as she keeps her eyes open for the next find great find. Still on the list - her first pair of Ferragamos!

All images copyright 2010 Bata Shoe Museum

1 comment:

  1. You like it colored, I must say! Bright colors will help the dress you will be matching it to. Don't you have white sandals?