Friday, February 10, 2006

Joe Famolare and the Platform Shoe - Part IV & V

Part IV: The Famolare Family of Shoes

Read Part I - Part II - Part III

The unisex Get There would be joined by several other models of the patented design.

To prove that platform shoes could be sexy, Joe turned his sites to the "Be Hi" (below). It featured a variation on the patented sole and was a bit closer to the traditional pump...with a difference. (Be-Hi photos compliments of Jamie Hicks,


The Bibiana's by Famolare Collection featured a line of casual wedge sandals in 1974


The Hilary collection was named for daughter Hilary. Ads compliments of Fuzzylizzie


The "Hi There" was a nod to - 70s style - of the wedge look that had been popular in the 30s and the 40s. It was introduced in the late 70s and were contemporary to Candie's high heeled wooden mules. It is reported that the "Hi There" did not do as projected because the platform shoe was on the decline as a fashion statement. However, today, they remain much sought after by wearers of vintage fashion due to the popularity of the wedge heel. (Hi There photos compliements of Margaret Wilds,




A rare oddity is "Wooden Things" also from the 70s. (photo compliments of Jamie Hicks, )


Part V: The 80s

The dawn of the 80s again saw Joe on the forefront of creative marketing. He teamed up with reknowned photographer Richard Avedon to do the "Footloose and Famolare" ad campaign in the very early 80s. This time, instead of using models or diagrams, they featured Joe himself. Now that the craze for platform shoes subsided, Famolare continued with producing shoes, and keeping his name linked to high quality footwear.

Shoes at this time featured a variety of sole types...the wave design and others. It still had an underlying message of comfort with fashion, but for the first time a more conventional pump was introduced.

If you notice, the shoes all have names. The earlier shoe line had "There" or "Hi" affixed. There was also a "Dance There" as well. This line played upon the founder's surname....


The Walkalare was soft calfskin loafer and came in a variety of colors

The Dreamalare was intended for "vacation wear" or street wear and almost brought to mind a much lower "Hi There" and came in a variety of heights.

The "Golden Sole" was to provide comfort with dining and dancing all night long and was the true "dress shoe" of the line for ladies. It went from the dance floor to the board room.



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