Thursday, February 09, 2006

Joe Famolare and the Platform Shoe - Part III

Part II Joe "Gets There"

clogDespite many naysayers who thought he was crazy, when Joe saw the "writing on the wall" at Marx and Newman, he didn't cultivate his long list of business connections from all over the world. His business ethic and the personal commitment he made to the company just wouldn't permit his conscience to.

He totally started from scratch with his new company. He had to start over with being the new guy and pitching his ideas to investors to get nickel one. But in the end, he charmed them with his ideas and his sense of showmanship.

An early product was a molded clog, for which he won a Coty award in 1973.

Even though the clog was a sensation in the fashion world from a design perspective, what really showcased Joe's abilities as a self promoter was the "Get There"

getthereadThe Get There took the world of platform shoes by storm.

The ad at right appeared in seventeen magazine, compliments of Lizzie Bramlett of Fuzzylizie vintage, and featured Joe's rough pencil drawings of the 4 wave sole idea.

The secret behind the shoes, while many platform shoes of the day left one teetering, the Famolare platform shoe was well balanced and practical.

The patented, 4 wave sole promotes posture and balance. Instead of having a main area of balance underneath the ball of the foot and then one under the heel, with a hollow at the arch, creating the "figure 8" style foot print, the foot print is a series of waves that helps one "roll" and flow when they walk as opposed to the other two mobility situations with platform shoes.

The next ad appeared in magazines and newspapers everywhere as the "birth" of the Get There...featuring an implication that the Get There was carved out of marble like a masterpiece sculpture...

gettheresiteadNot only did he use the traditional means of print advertising to promote his product, such as shown below, but he even choreographed the "Get There" dance, and ran a contest for an aspiring song writer to perform the "Get There" song on a 45 rpm record, and the record was released and it became the theme song for them.

Joe envisioned it as a yearly contest to find aspiring talent and spread the word about comfortable platform shoes that you could actually walk in! This didn't turn into a yearly contest, but it was something that burned the Get There in everyone's memory. They could read about it, dance about it and listen to it!

The shoes not only hold a patent but are on display in the Smithsonian museum, and is also featured at the Costume, Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. So next time you are in the the exhibit a visit.

Read Part I Here
Read Part II Here



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