Palter DeLiso Footwear Makes a Comeback

This fall, the brand will see its first new collection in more than four decades.

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NEW YORK — This fall, footwear brand Palter DeLiso will see its first new collection in more than four decades.

This story first appeared in the June 17, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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.”


E-commerce at palterdeliso.com will launch in early September.

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