You are on page 1of 15


Andre Perugia is remembered as the first shoe designer, his name is synonymous with creativity and
innovation. Started in the early 1900s, the brand quickly gained interest of the rich and famous for its
unique design and quality and began catering to the high Parisian Society through collaborations with
designers and its boutique on rue de la paix. Perugia mastered his trade at the young age of 16, started
developing shoes that had never been thought of before and never compromised on comfort. The brand
did well all throughout the 20s till late 60s (reaching its peak in the 50s). However, after Perugias
retirement in 1970 and death in 1977, the brand lost its innovative touch and direction and had to be
shut. His most iconic shoes are still displayed at Bata museum in Toronto, in the Met in New York, in
the V&A museum in London, in the Kyoto Costume Institute, among others.
The reason for reviving this brand is that the product did not have any limitations as such and is still
valued by many art enthusiasts, the brand died mostly due to lack of a person who could manage the
brand after Perugias death. His shoes were ahead of its time back then in terms of design and shape
and still are, considering what major players like Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo and Alexandra
McQueen are doing today.
The objectives of this revival project are to recommend a Revival strategy for the brand without diluting
its image.

Andre Perugia was a French shoe designer. He worked with designers including Paul Poiret, I. Miller,
Charles Jourdan, Jacques Fath, and Hubert de Givenchy. Born in Nice, France in 1893 from Italian
emigrant parents, he grew up in a family of shoe makers. At the age of 16, Andre Perugia started to
work for a shoe maker. Quickly, he found out that he had more knowledge than his boss and took over
his father business. Nice, at this time, was home to a wealthy and brilliant society and young Andre
Perugia become famous for his craft.
Paul Poiret (the king of fashion) Paul Poiret, who was vacationing in Nice, solicits the young Andre. But
WWI cut short their project. It is in 1920, that finally, Paul Poiret introduced Andre Perugia to the
Parisian society. A year later Andre Perugia opened his first boutique, 11 rue du Faubourg st Honore,
which is the most fashionable street of Paris.
Rapidly, Andre Perugia started designing shoes for the rich and famous. In 1927, he crossed the Atlantic
and came to New York where he was celebrated by the high society.
In 1933, he created the brand Padova, which was exclusively distributed within the U.S by Saks 5th
By then, Andre Perugia had then already moved 2 rue de la Paix, where he remained until his the end.
He continued to design and supply his wonderful shoes throughout the 40s, 50s and 60s.
He retired in 1970 and died in 1977 at age 84.

After Andre Perugias death, his collection was left with Charles Jourdan. Perugia worked in
collaboration with Charles Jourdon from 1960 to 1966. Although the reason for the brands decline and
eventual end is not clear, it is believed that it died due to lack of a managing body and direction.
The shoes were still in great demand and were still believed to have the innovative edge that Perugia
was known for. The motivation for reviving the brand comes from the fact that Perugia created shoes
that were unique in terms of shape, design and materials and yet did not compromise on comfort. For
him, difficulty in execution and expense mattered little, whereas the shoes stability in walking and
proper fit were paramount. Considering innovators of the luxury shoe industry today (Christian
Louboutin, Jimmy Choo and Alexandra McQueen), his designs are still ahead of time. Perugias designs
show the use of an extraordinary diversity of materials .He did not hesitate to completely transform
tradition leather. Perugia was a perfect master of his craft.

The reason for reviving this brand is that Perugias designs are unusual and superior in design. His
distinctive shoes have a great market today as people are becoming more open to experimenting with
style. His shoes would also fetch the interests of many art enthusiasts since he used orientalism and art
movements for his inspiration.
Literature Review

Andre Perugia was born in 1893 Tuscany, son of a shoe repair man. The family fled poverty by
emigrating to Nice, where the father set up shop as a shoemaker. His apprenticeship began on his
fathers workshop and continued with the boot maker in nice when he was 16. Perugia quickly realized
that he knew as much as his boss and decided to take over his fathers shop. There he felt the limitations
of the shoe makers trade, already demonstrating a strong inclination towards invention.
Perugias shoe styles attracted the interests of the wife of the head of the negresco hotel, who offered
him a window to display his shoes to hotel patrons. Paul Poiret came upon them during a trip to nice
where he had gone to show his collection to Hindu princesses and to a wealthy clientele vacationing on
the Riviera. Poiret wanted to enhance the slender of this fashion show with colorful accessories and only
Perugia agreed on such short notice to produce the models sort by him.
After a triumphant showing Poiret offered to set up Perugia in Paris but the war disrupted the plans
which did not come off until 1920.
Poiret effectively
introduced Perugia to his
elegant clientele at his
fashion show. Perugia
did not have to wait for
success and he returned
home with a full order
book. But he was still in
his small family shop,
and he dreamt of making
shoes for the glittering
world of Parisian high
One year later, the
dream became a reality
with the opening of a
boutique at 11
faobourge saint honore.
The shoes of famous
customers displayed
along with their names
and the few extravagant
styles captured journalists attention. It was easy for Poiret to promote the young man; Perugias talent
did the rest.
The shoe maker created a number of models for the couturier including the arale quinade and folie,
which corresponded to names of Poiret perfumes. Meanwhile , a top drawer clientele filed into the
house of Perugia, including mistinguett (French music hall idol) , josephene baker (exotic dancer) ,
Queens princesses , stars of stage and screen and aristocrats. Perugia only made womens shoes,
although he would good naturedly make masculine models as an exception for morice chevalier for
Beginning in 1927, Perugia crossed the Atlantic to capture a wealthy American clientele. In 1933,
established at 4 rue de la paix, he introduced the padova brand distributed in the United States by Saks
5th avenue. His foreign network grew with RAYNE in England. Additionally, in 1936, the queen of England
paid him the honor of an order during a visit to Paris. In 1937, he would establish himself once and for
all at 2 rue de la paix.
Ideology and Inspiration

The work of a custom shoe maker is similar to that of an haute couturier. The shoemaker takes an
impression of the foot (by making a plastic cast or a drawing) and takes measurements. The style and
the height of the heel determine the form. From these elements an initial frame without ornament is
made, which the shoemaker opens on the top, on the side, and at the heel during the fitting. When the
frame is perfectly adjusted to the customers foot, the shoe is ready for fabrication. For Perugia,
difficulty in execution and expense mattered little, whereas the shoes stability for walking and its proper
fit were paramount.
Perugias customers ordered nearly 40 pairs per season at an approximate unit price of fifty thousand
francs. Perugias designs show the use of an extraordinary diversity of materials: exotic and often
surprising leathers (including lama stomach skin and antelope skin), fabrics, laces, vegetable fibers and
horsehair among other things.
He did not hesitate to completely transform tradition leather: snake skin became gold and alligator skin,
sported cheerful colours. To this was added the opulence of embroidered and enameled ornamentation
which transformed the shoe into an exclusive design. Perugia was a perfect master of his craft.
Perugia was also perfectly aware of his limitations, which motivated him to keep raising the bar through
technical research. He never stopped devising new processes, 40 of which bear registered and
meticulously illustrated patents. Those patents punctuate his entire career from 1921 to 1958. To
Perugia we owe in particular not the only the 1942 invention of the articulated wooden heel, which
thrived during the 2nd world war, but also the 1956 invention of the clever interchangeable heel system.
Additionally Perugia invented a metal instep, iron craftsmen made his heels for him. His shoes defied the
laws of balance by changing the established structure of the heel.
Perugia displayed originality in the art of the shoe from his very first creations. Times changed and
different cultures nourished his design themes. The oriental theme appears throughout his oeuvre and
is seen in shoes for evening, town, apartment and even the beach. Perugias oriental style was a part of
fashion movement generated by the craze for the ballet, russcs. On June 24, 1911 Poiret organized a
Persian celebration called The Thousand and One Nights and met his guests dressed as a sultan. His
trip to morocco in 1918 also enriched his imagination. It was surely under Poiret influence that Perugia
emerged himself in orientalism, which became his favorite theme. The effect is seen Perugias Chinese-
inspired motifs, such as apartment mule with raised heels. Perugia then looked towards Japan and made
notched soles in imitation of the gaiter fact; closer to home, he found inspiration in Venetian mules and
that displayed masks. Poiret, who was a patron of painters, writers and designers turned Perugia into a
connoisseur and enlightened art collector. The geometric ornaments of his shoes expressed a cubic
aesthetic. Between 1925 and 1930 Art Deco motifs where everywhere. Perugias wood heels, first
sculpted and then gilded with gold leaf, reveal true artistic labour, exclusive shoemaker was the to
exhibit in the salons decorative art.
Around 1955 the pinnacle of his career, with a collection created in the United States. Each shoe was
meant to be homage to a 20th century painter. Picasso, Braque, Matisse, fermand leger, Mondrian, et
cetera. But Perugias shoe as an art object still fulfilled its primary function for walking.

A long collaboration from 1930 to 50 with Elsa Schiaparelli, with whom he shared a complimentary
competence, gave birth to new and original forms that were especially remarkable in their extraordinary
modernity. After the Second World War, Perugia placed his talent in the hands of Dior, Jacques Fathe,
Balmain and Hubert de Givenchy. During this period he continued to divide his time between France and
US, where he collaborated with I. Miller, one of Americas most famous custom shoe makers. His superb
career came to an end with Charles Jourdan, to whom he left his extraordinary personal collection and
inspiring artistic resource, it is on view today at the international shoe museum, Romans.
Andre Perugia died in Nice on 22nd November 1977. Even though some of his designs were drawn from
the past and minded orientalism for inspiration, this exclusive shoe makers status as an innovator is
confirmed by the result of his technical and aesthetic research.

The objectives of this brand revival project are :-

i. To understand how to revive a dormant brand.
ii. To develop a strategy for reviving Andre Perugia without diluting its brand image.
Brand Ambassador

Alexa Chung
Instagram followers: 1.8M Twitter followers: 1.55M Buzzy collaborations: AG Jeans, British Vogue
Biggest impact on the industry: Besides having a Tabitha Simmons shoe and a Mulberry bag named after
her, Chung has amassed a loyal following on social media. The unknown designers Chung picks become
favorites with her fans, who rely not only on her taste but also her ability to find the next hot item or
designer. Next, Chung has teamed up with British Vogue on a new fashion docuseries.
Chung is a muse to many fashion designers because of her distinctive personal style. She frequently
appears on best-dressed lists, is a regular model for Vogue, Elle and Harper's Bazaar and is often seen in
the front row at fashion shows. In 2009, the designer handbag company Mulberry created the "Alexa", a
much sought-after bag named after and inspired by her. In January 2010, she was named in Tatler's top
10 best-dressed list. In February 2010, Chung collaborated with J.Crew's Madewell on a womenswear
line which was unveiled during New York Fashion Week. She collaborated with Madewell for a second
collection, released in September 2011.
In December 2010, Bryan Ferry, on behalf of the British Fashion Council, presented Chung with the
British Style Award which "recognises an individual who embodies the spirit of British fashion and is an
international ambassador for the UK as a leading creative hub for fashion" at a ceremony at the Savoy
Theatre in London. At the British Fashion Awards of 2011, 2012 and 2013, Chung won the British Style
Award, for which the public voted. In 2015, Chung collaborated with AG Jeans on two collections.
Creative Director

Alber Elbaz
Before his sudden departure, Alber Elbaz was celebrated for transforming the once-ailing couture house
Lanvin into one of the most sought-after luxury labels in the world during his 14-year tenure. He took up
the mantle of creative director in 2001 and re-established a strong, commercially successful DNA for the
French brand. In October 2015, unexpected news emerged that he was exiting from his long-held role,
"the decision of the company's majority shareholder." The break between Elbaz and the brand is said to
have followed disagreements between the designer and Lanvins owner Shaw-Lan Wang and chief
executive Michle Huiban.

Elbaz, who was born in Morocco, began his career working at a small dressmakers shop in the Garment
District of New York. Having moved to Israel in his youth, the designer studied at the Shenkar College of
Engineering and Design, before moving to New York in 1984. Through a connection forged with Guccis
Dawn Mello, Elbaz was introduced to couturier Geoffrey Beene in 1989. He was Beenes assistant until
1996, crediting the experience for providing him an in-depth education in fashion design, before taking
up the helm of Guy Laroche in Paris, which by then had become somewhat staid.

After little over a year at Guy Laroche, he was scouted as creative designer for Yves Saint Laurents "Rive
Gauche" ready-to-wear womenswear line when, after three seasons, he was replaced by Tom Ford
following the Gucci Groups acquisition of the label. Prior to joining Lanvin in 2001, Albez took a brief
sabbatical and served as head designer for Italian design house Krizia.
At Lanvin, Elbaz entered into a number of collaborations with other companies, including a limited
edition cosmetics range with Lancme and a capsule collection for Swedish high street retailer H&M in
2010. In honour of his 10-year anniversary as creative director of Lanvin Elbaz released a book in 2012
featuring over 3,000 images, peppered with the designers own short narratives and musings.

Throughout his career, Elbaz has been awarded a slew of industry accolades in recognition of his
contribution to fashion, including the 2005 CFDA International Designer award and Most Influential
Designer at the inaugural World Fashion Awards held by WGSN. In 2013, Elbaz was announced as the
winner of the Geoffrey Beene Fashion Impact Award at the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund dinner. In
2009 he was awarded the Grande Mdaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris by mayor Bertrand Delano,
for his positive impact on the city, and in 2016, he was presented with the prestigious French Legion of
Revival Strategy

1) 100% customization

Andre Perugias design were ahead of its time back in the 1920 in terms of design and shape and still
are considered in comparison to its current day competition (Christian Louboutin , Jimmy Choo and
Alexandra McQueen). The unique designs were its USP back then and would still be if launched today.
Due to this reason there would be no change in the basic design and shape of the design of the shoe.
However, the new element that would be added to the shoe is 100% customization. The customer
would be able to choose everything from the material, the colour and of course the shoe size would be
made custom made according to the customers foot. Also, other personalization options would include
initials at the bottom of the shoe, name of the craftsman who made the shoe and any other thing that
the customer might want engraved at the bottom.
Process- The shoemaker takes an impression of the foot (by making a plastic cast or a drawing) and
takes measurements. The style and the height of the heel determine the form. From these elements an
initial frame without ornament is made, which the shoemaker opens on the top, on the side, and at the
heel during the fitting. When the frame is perfectly adjusted to the customers foot, the shoe is ready for

2) Limited Distribution
Very limited number of people could afford Andre Perugia back then, making it a very rare and exclusive
luxury shoe brand. Also, Perugia only used to design limited number of shoes, which were majorly sold
to Queens, princesses and aristocrats. High price points was also an entry barrier. To maintain this level
of exclusivity the shoes will be distributed at very limited places in small quantities. Initially, just one
store in Paris selling not more than 200 shoes a season. This is done to create a hype around the brand.
3) Collaborations

Andre Perugia as a brand gained major recognition only after its collaboration with Paul Poiret, after
which it did collaborations with major haute couturiers from around the world. Collaborations would be
a key element for Andre Perugia today as well. A collaboration with renowned designer Jenny Packham
would be the first collaboration for the brand.
Jenny Packham, Biggest royal fan: The Duchess of Cambridge, is the go-to for the modern royals,
Packham is the one Kate calls if she needs a glittery ballgown, an appropriate day dress or even a special
sari at the eleventh hour.
This collaboration would Andre Perugia on the map again. The best thing about this collaboration is that
Jenny Packham already has the clientele which Perugia is targeting. Although, it is a discreet brand, it is
well known in the royal circles, which is our primary target.

4) Elite Club

Although majority of our clientele is going to very elite and exclusive, we would still have an elite club
which would have hand-picked customers for who certain designs would be made that will not be
available to the regular customers. The idea behind this is to give special treatment to our royal

5) Reviving the Myth

Back in the 40s when the brand was at its peak, there was a rumor that Perugia talks to his shoes. This
created a certain aura around the brand that attracted a lot of customers. Such a myth could be really
helpful for a luxury brand. Going forward we would revive this myth through our communication
1) Chris Donovan Footwear . 2017. Andr Perugia (1893-1977) the original celebrity Shoe Designer
Chris Donovan Footwear . [ONLINE] Available at:
celebrity-shoe-designer. [Accessed 02 October 2017].
2) The Art of (Shoe)Making: Andr Perugia | The Blogazine - Contemporary Lifestyle Magazine.
2017. The Art of (Shoe)Making: Andr Perugia | The Blogazine - Contemporary Lifestyle
Magazine. [ONLINE] Available at:
shoemaking-andre-perugia/. [Accessed 02 October 2017].
3) Vogue Italia. 2017. Andr Perugia - [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 02 October 2017].
4) TheHistorialist: ANDR PERUGIA & ANDY WARHOL | 1953 [NOT 1955] | THE CUBIST SANDAL |
FROM FOOTWEAR TO ART [AND BACK AGAIN] | PART 1/2 |. 2017. TheHistorialist: ANDR
ART [AND BACK AGAIN] | PART 1/2 |. [ONLINE] Available at:
[Accessed 02 October 2017].
5) TheHistorialist: ANDRE PERUGIA | STRANGER THAN FICTION. 2017. TheHistorialist: ANDRE
02 October 2017].
6) Google Books. 2017. The Art of the Shoe - Marie-Josphe Bossan - Google Books. [ONLINE]
Available at:
Qu7XWAhWBtI8KHW3dB0gQ6AEIXTAK#v=onepage&q&f=false. [Accessed 02 October 2017].
7) Jenny Packham. 2017. Jenny Packham. [ONLINE] Available at:
[Accessed 02 October 2017].
8) Alexa Chung Official Fashion Line - ALEXACHUNG. 2017. Alexa Chung Official Fashion Line -
ALEXACHUNG. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 02 October
9) About - Shop Womens About Online - ALEXACHUNG - ALEXACHUNG. 2017. About - Shop
Womens About Online - ALEXACHUNG - ALEXACHUNG. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 02 October 2017].