Vintage late 1960s evening mules from Tony the Shoemaker in a metallic pewter patent cross elegant simplicity with Space Age shine. The easy-to-wear silhouette, with slightly squared toes and low, square heel, suggest they may have been designed for hostess wear, though the leather soles make them suitable for parties away from home, too.
The designer behind the playfully named "Tony the Shoemaker" brand (which riffs off the nickname of an early 20th century gangster, and was produced from the late 60s through the early 70s) was Beth Levine, who partnered--in business and in life--with Herbert Levine in the 1940s. Dubbed "America's First Lady of Shoe Design", she pioneered an earlier, iconic mule, the Spring-O-Later, in the 1950s, and worked extensively--and inventively--with plastics and vinyls in her 60s footwear designs (which included the white stiletto boots Nancy Sinatra wore for her signature song).
The uppers of these mules appear to be a synthetic material, though far more supple than the PVC or vinyl shoes I've encountered. A band of suede reinforces the underside of the throat, and reduces slippage of the mules. I'm unsure whether the heart-shaped red velvet arch pads are original, but suspect that they are not.
Embossed "Tony the Shoemaker" on one mule and "Bonwit Teller Boston" on the other, the shoes are marked a size 7N. Exact measurements are 9 ½" long from toe to heel inside the shoe and 2 ¾"across the tread. Excellent condition; these were clearly never worn out of doors.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild
Item ID: ryn137
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