Hey, Stud! – A shocking surprise at The Museum at FIT

In my previous post where I reviewed the “Shoes: Anatomy, Identity, Magic” exhibition at The Museum at FIT, I alluded to a shocking surprise I discovered when entering the exhibit.

I expected to see a range of styles and to be familiar with all or most, and when I walked up to this particular display, even from several steps away, I knew what I was seeing before I got close but I was WRONG!

The shoes in question…

I recognize those boots… They’re the Chloé Susanna boot. Introduced in 2008 and still going strong in 2022 with multiple color options available in top end stores but also relentlessly duped.

Chloé Susanna boots in black and gold, 2022

But then I looked at the caption and my mind was blown:

Versace! MEN’s! 1992!!!!

How is this possible. I mean, look at them. Those are near on identical.

I don’t follow men’s fashion much. And in 1992 I was no where near literate about fashion, especially Versace. But how I have never even heard a whiff of a rumor about this???

So I had to do more digging to see what was happening with Versace men’s runway for Spring 1992 and it is real. This show was covered in gold stud work. It was the central theme in my opinion. I mean, check out this jacket I found on Etsy from a reseller/OG owner:

Then I struck GOLD!

Full video on YouTube

This is definitely the season and around the 9:00min mark is when you start to see the pieces with the Greek key design in studded leather, specifically the jackets. What. A. Show.

Not sure if anyone else will find this as mind-blowing as me but hey, this is why I love shoes!

Added bonus: Here’s the Vogue coverage of the Versace women’s Spring 1992 collection.

Review – The Museum at FIT exhibit – Shoes: Anatomy, Identity, Magic

Thursday, 9/1 was the opening of the new exhibit at the Museum At FIT, “Shoes: Anatomy, Identity, Magic“. As an obviously avid shoe collector who thinks of footwear as functional art and someone who loves museums, I made it a must-see that very day.

I think to the average viewer, this would be a decent collection of footwear examples, however, I was frankly a bit disappointed. I felt that the analysis of the collection was, for lack of a better word,… “light”. There were some interesting groupings but the juxtapositions they made between styles and designers could have been done much stronger or they could have taken the themes they chose to explore to a much deeper level.

Some of the things I would have like to have seen is how past styles influence designers today (see French Court shoes and Brother Vellie Grandma Stell mules), or a through line from a single designer of their earlier work to later designs. Or how a designer’s mentor influenced and helped to refine another designers style (a la Kirkwood and Sophia Webster – where you can see the strong Kirkwood flow in the 80s style throwback and colors of Webster).

Another interesting link that could have been made is the impact of sports on shoe design. Instead of a wall of very recent sneakers, and instead of showing a recent pair of Thom Browne skate-inspired shoes…

Show the TWO (!!!) 2011 designs that really shook the industry up – by Dsquared2 and Jeffrey Campbell (which I actually talked about back in the day).

Dsquared2 Runway
Jeffrey Campbell Skate

Not to be a humble brag, but when you have been writing about or studying (or collecting shoes) since before 2007, and you have a bit of a photographic memory, you see lots of opportunities and collection combinations. And I also saw a lot pieces I have have are in the exhibit. I mean, yes, even Bergdorf Goodman recognized it…

But let’s run through some examples:
Jimmy Choo Cinderellas – Theirs and mine

Prada Flower Heels – Theirs and mine

They also had the custom Sophia Webster Chiaras in black and rainbow crystal.

Theirs and mine…

There were a few other notable examples like sliver Manolo Blahnik Sedarabys (the SATC “A Woman’s Right to Shoes” d’Orsay heels), some 1920s satin t-bars and examples from Roger Vivier and Charlotte Olympia, where our collections overlapped.

That said, it is always fun to see a collection of shoes. You can look at what they’ve uploaded to their Flickr page. And maybe someday, I’ll do an exhibit of my own!

Note: There was one really interesting piece that shocked me… More to follow!