Prada and Herbert Levine Bring New Meaning to the Term 'Driving Shoe'

New blog Part Nouveau, or ‘partly new’, delves into fashion history to showcase the inspiration–be it art, photography or design–behind some of today’s biggest fashion moments. It’s fascinating and impossible not to get lost in, so we asked the site’s founder, Lilah Ramzi, to give us a little history lesson each week. This week's lesson? Car details get Prada's and iconic footwear designer Beth Levine's motors running--decades apart.
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New blog Part Nouveau, or ‘partly new’, delves into fashion history to showcase the inspiration–be it art, photography or design–behind some of today’s biggest fashion moments. It’s fascinating and impossible not to get lost in, so we asked the site’s founder, Lilah Ramzi, to give us a little history lesson each week. This week's lesson? Car details get Prada's and iconic footwear designer Beth Levine's motors running--decades apart.

New blog Part Nouveau, or ‘partly new’, delves into fashion history to showcase the inspiration–be it art, photography or design–behind some of today’s biggest fashion moments. It’s fascinating and impossible not to get lost in, so we asked the site’s founder, Lilah Ramzi, to give us a little history lesson each week.

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Foot-model cum shoe designer Beth Levine is considered one of the most influential footwear designers of the 20th century. Although her name is somewhat forgotten, Levine's impact on fashion was immense, unlike her size-4 foot. Designing under her husband's name, Herbert Levine, Beth's designs were conceptual and often times ironic. Levine's contributions to fashion include her patented Spring-o-lator shoe, the topless 'No' shoe and most notably, Levine outfitted singer Nancy Sinatra in a pair of white go-go boots immortalized by her classic 1966 song, "These Boots are Made for Walkin'."

In 1965, the Herbert Levine label released the "racing car shoe," constructed of clear, colored and mirrored vinyl, pieced together to resemble a miniature race car.

For Prada's Spring 2012 collection, the designer would also look to the automobile in designing a collection that waxed nostalgia for the 50s, presenting hot rod heels complete with headlights and chrome.

Herbert Levine, Inc. Racing Car Shoe, 1965. House at the Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Herbert Levine, Inc. Racing Car Shoe, 1965. House at the Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Prada SS 2012

Prada SS 2012