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Lady Violette

The Romantic Lifestyle

Posts Tagged ‘Italian Shoe Designers’

Amalfi by Rangoni’s Famous Delicate T~Strap Design With Feminine Flower Trim Popular in the 1950’s & Early 1960’s

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011


An exquisitely graceful Amalfi style decorated with a charming flower.

Amalfi made some of the prettiest most feminine shoes of the early 1950’s ~ 1960’s. This delicate T-strap trimmed with a flower is made of  rich coppery brown suede accented with metallic leather is a lovely example ~ and yet another example of a very desirable and attractive brown shoe! They were made in Italy of course.

Amalfi's had lovely lines and always featured feminine touches.


I like brown shoes! Maybe because I also like chocolate! I associate brown with delicious chocolate and luxury leather goods! Amalfi’s shoes were always luxurious.


Alluring Amalfi's created desire in women's hearts ~ after all, what woman doesn't long for shoes, chocolate and flowers?


My mother found reason’s to buy them, like this pair, because it matched her auburn hair and an emerald green pair because it looked so good with her Titian hair. Of course owning and wearing beautiful shoes and handbags made her happy. She was very fastidious about her shoes and bags, selecting the exact right ones to wear each day with every suit or dress.

The soft velvety copper brown suede and smooth metallic leather are such a complimentary combination!


In the mid sixties my mother took a trip to Italy with her sisters and her father for the express purpose of buying shoes and purses. At least that is why the women went along. My grandfather went to study the architecture and took them with him for the experience. They dutifully toured buildings and museums for a couple of hours a day and shopped for the rest. He dutifully paid for all their purchase! Lucky girls! He joked on their return about how little energy they had for studying and how much they had for exploring the shops! He also loved fine leather good and shoes and came back with several pairs of custom made boots.  He was a great appreciator of the Italian design and craftsmanship.

Ever after that sojourn my mother referred to her auburn hair as Titian because it sounded so much more romantic and European! After they returned to the United States they could continue to enjoy aspects of Italy each day by wearing the shoes and handbags they had brought home. It cheered them up and kept them going.  My mother always said, “You should wear the best shoes you can get! It will make people treat you with respect.” My grandfather always said, “You should buy the best shoes you can because they will last a long time!” Both have proven correct in my experience!

Ugo Rangoni began his shoe company in the early 1930’s in Florance in two rooms of his house. Within a few years he had become so well known for his workmanship that he was making shoes for Christian Dior and other couture designers. In the 1950’s he invented the T~strap design like the ones shown above and it was so popular he sold over two million pairs. There were variations on the design and its adornment and colors but the basic shoe was thus.

Note: Rangoni was credited with inventing the T~strap but I think he just made his version very popular. Because I know, for a fact, that variations on the T~strap design existed in the 1920’s and 30’s and were made by other designers. It has long been a popular style for dance shoes because the straps keep the shoes on while dancing as well as flattering the foot and ankle.

I have other vintage Amalfi shoes in my collection as well as other T~strap designs from Amalfi and other designers. I also have a beautiful pair of elegant vintage Amalfi boots in the most delicious caramel color I will be sharing soon. It is rare to find vintage Amalfi’s in these charming old designs. They were notoriously comfortable and were often used until they wore out completely. As far as I can find out the alluring and delicate vintage styles of yesteryear are no longer being manufactured, thus, if you happen to come across a vintage pair and love them you should get it. They are very rare! There aren’t many left because they were loved to pieces!

The Amalfi by Rangoni company is still in production, now in a big factory in Florence. They are now known for casual and comfortable shoes still made to the highest standards of Italian workmanship, rather than the whimsical couture creations of yesteryear. They have their own shops in major cities and are sold in shoe stores all over the world as well as online. They are beautiful practical shoes of high quality and still very desirable.

Photographs by Fredric Lehrman.

Styled by Violette de Courcy.

Shoes from The Lady Violette Shoe Collection.


Blue Sneaker Influenced Stiletto Pumps Designed by GFJ From Italy

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Stiletto Sneaker Pump by GFJ of Italy

Here is a wicked find! An unusual combination between a stiletto pump and a sneaker make in Italy by GFJ out of blue leather and a combination of interesting man made materials. Very high style! This shoe isn’t terribly old, but I have no information on the date it was made – yet. (I am hoping someone reading this will  be able to provide me with more information.)

I rescued this lovely pair from a thrift store! I have seen one other pair of shoes similar to this made by this company. It was done in black leather as a stiletto mule with white stitching in a similar vamp style. I have also seen an elegant cream mule in a completely different style under the same label. I have searched the web for more information on GFJ to no avail. Whoever it is she or he are definitely talented shoe designers and I would love to know more about them and where one could find more of their work.

Tres Sportif Details on the Blue GFJ Stilettos

I love the way this designer has combined the elements of sport shoes with the elements of classic stilettos – the stripes on the sides, the light colored top stitching, the man made beige material – probably nylon – used on the sides of the shoes and the corrugated rubber soles with the stacked leather heels, lines of an elegant  1950’s pump, dainty straps and small buckle trim, and the beautiful blue color! It is copen blue which is a rare shade nowadays but was quite popular in the 1950’s. It reminds me of the 50’s for that reason but also seems well suited to the sporty exercise clothes currently in style.  They look good with both capri pants and short skirts. And I like to wear them with a 3/4 length blue and white flower printed retro trench coat.

Beautiful Copen Blue Coloring Borrowed From the 1950's

These appeal to me for spring and summer casual dress up wear. They are well made in Italy of the blue leather, with a leather lining and a suede lined heel, and the stacked leather heel as well which is real, not an imitation. The man made materials are used as creative design elements in this case rather than cost cutting materials.

Delightfully different and fun to wear! I get a lot of interesting comments and questions on this unusual pair!

If you know more about the GJF company or their designers I’d like you to share the information with me. I’ve not been able to find anymore info on them.


This pair of shoes was inspiring and fun to photograph. They cooperated! They have attitude, obviously! And shoes with attitude love to showoff!

The photos are by Fredric Lehrman styled by Violette de Courcy.

The Designer Even Achieved the Cute Turned Up Toe of a 50's Stiletto to Perfection!