NEW YORK — This fall, footwear brand Palter DeLiso will see its first new collection in more than four decades.
After discovering that the previous Palter DeLiso trademark had lain dormant since the early Seventies and expired, Taz Saunders, cofounder and creative director, and Lauren Bruksch, cofounder and president, applied for a new registration.
Saunders and Bruksch were originally going to design their own footwear line but after scouring flea markets, vintage stores and e-commerce sites like eBay and Etsy, as well as studying and acquiring vintage samples, the two realized that they kept gravitating towards Palter DeLiso.
“It was important for us to nosedive into all of the elements that made the brand so special in footwear history. We’re remaining true to the integrity of what it was, and what we really learned was that it came from a day and a time where shoemaking was truly an art and there was so much craftsmanship [attached] to that. Things like the last really mattered,” Bruksch said.
She likens the last to a foundation of a house, calling it the “heart and sole” of a shoe when it comes to design. Of the 10 styles in the premiere collection, there are four different lasts. The Dapper and Skyscraper — 110 mm. and 125 mm. each, respectively — are classic, pointed-toe pumps based on original Palter DeLiso styles. The Dover and Capri lasts are each 135 mm. tall with a 30-mm. platform and include silhouettes such as the Icon, a peep-toe slingback; the Mary, a patent leather Mary Jane with three asymmetrical straps, and the Diva, fashioned from PVC, Plexiglas and Swarovski Elements. The name of the last is printed in gold inside each shoe.
Prices range from $895 for the Kiss, a black heirloom lace and silver glitter pump with grosgrain trim, to $1,995 for the Stride, a polished lizard skin pump — both constructed from the 110-mm. Dapper last. The Diva, Socialite and Lady — all containing PVC, Plexiglas or Lucite and adorned with Swarovski crystals — retail for $1,895 each.
The two wanted to give the line a feeling of consistency, and whether a consumer opts for the Fancy in gold, brown and black floral brocade or the Monet with hand-dropped ink that’s coated in patent, a continuity would exist in that both had the same 110 mm heel.
Saunders and Bruksch extensively researched Palter DeLiso’s legacy; the brand was established in 1927 here by American businessman Daniel Palter and Italian designer Vincent DeLiso. Popular from the Thirties through the Sixties, Palter and DeLiso were among the first to receive the Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion in 1938, also the year they introduced the peep-toe, slingback pump for the first time.
“It was sensational and controversial at the time,” Saunders said. “Everyone wore reinforced stockings at this time [too], and the idea was to expose more of the foot in this shoe. It was very risqué.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
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Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast