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A Fashionable Summer ~ Joe Famolare

Discussion in 'A Fashionable Summer 2005 (Asst. Designers)' started by Patentleathershoes, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. noir_boudoir

    noir_boudoir Registered Guest

    <img src="http://users.ox.ac.uk/~wolf1360/colored%20shoe%20and%20leg.JPG" width=400>

    I remember now...
  2. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes VFG Veteran VFG Past President

    That is a very unusual looking man..... ;)

  3. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes VFG Veteran VFG Past President

    Part IV: The 80s

    On the very tail end of the 70s, Joe fell in love with vermont, and moved his family and many of his operations there.

    Again saw Joe on the forefront of creative marketing.

    He teamed up with reknowned photographer Richard Avedon to do the "Footloose and Famolare" ad campaign in the very early 80s.

    This time, instead of using models or diagrams, they featured Joe himself. Now that the craze for platform shoes subsided, Famolare continued with producing shoes, and keeping his name linked to high quality footwear

    Shoes at this time featured a variety of sole types...the wave design and others. It still had an underlying message of comfort with fashion, but for the first time a more conventional pump was introduced.

    If you notice, the shoes all have names. The earlier shoe line had "There" or "Hi" affixed. There was also a "Dance There" as well. This line played upon the founder's surname....

    The Walkalare was soft calfskin loafer and came in a variety of colors

    <img src="http://image.inkfrog.com/pix/kitschnsink/walkalare.jpg" width=232 height=300>

    The Dreamalare was intended for "vacation wear" or street wear and almost brought to mind a much lower "Hi There" and came in a variety of heights.

    <img src="http://image.inkfrog.com/pix/kitschnsink/dreamalare.jpg" width=233 height=300>

    The "Golden Sole" was to provide comfort with dining and dancing all night long and was the true "dress shoe" of the line for ladies. It went from the dance floor to the board room.

    <img src="http://image.inkfrog.com/pix/kitschnsink/goldensole.jpg" width=223 height=300>
  4. This is great Chris!
    Very informative.
    I am clueless on the ex employee guy, though.
  5. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes VFG Veteran VFG Past President

    Hmm...should I give a huge hint???

    Lin did, but you wouldn't know if you hadn't seen that before....

    think wigs and cookies....and a specific cold weather food staple.
  6. The quaker oats guy???:question:
  7. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes VFG Veteran VFG Past President


    hee hee hee.

    Well..not cookies...but cookie JARS more specifically.
  8. noir_boudoir

    noir_boudoir Registered Guest

    Well, he was famous for a lot longer than he gave most people credit for.

    My garbled hint.
  9. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes VFG Veteran VFG Past President

    I'll be back after a short break to present the last several installments of the workshop.

    I will talk about what happened next in the company, what Joe is up to today, and most importantly. the current popularity/desirability of the vintage shoes.

    If in the meantime anyone has any questions/comments/wants to throw rotten fruit, certainly feel free.
  10. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    Wow! Talk about a trip down memory lane! My absolute favorite shoes of all time were a pair of Bandolinos from the late 60s. And I guess I should remember the record promo, as I was definitely in the target audience, but I don't recall it at all.

    As for the Janitor/famous guy, I'll give a hint. Look at my travel journal on my website.

    More! please....
  11. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes VFG Veteran VFG Past President

    Yes, the answer does sit in Lizzie's travel journal on her website. We won't spoil the answer til later for people reading along and wanting for it not to be spoiled.

    I wonder Lizzie if it was a tv commercial. It seemed like it would have been a good idea for a jingle or a radio commercial. Also, since Famolare was based up in NY and he was from Boston, could it have more so been something that would have been known on the college campuses of the northeast and not been as big down south? I don't know! :)

    I do recall however, reading what the name of the group who recorded it, but it was nothing that I recognized. Could have been a made up name or just some local group that won the contest.

    (btw, you wouldn't have a picture of those Bandolinos would you? You probably would not have thought to take a solo photo of them individually at the time, but do you have an old picture of yourself where you were spotted wearing them)?
  12. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes VFG Veteran VFG Past President

    Here is another pair of shoes. These are from the 80s. They are a basic moc with a leather sole and they were made in a variety of color combos. This is something that was something he tried out and important. They don't have the famolare soles and to me wearing them (as i own them) reminds me of my old jazz shoes...its like wearing next to nothing on your feet....in a good way. Better than slippers..

  13. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes VFG Veteran VFG Past President

    Speaking of marketing tactics...

    Here are a few other little factoids.

    I have never seen it, but there was a bed (as in the kind you sleep on!) made like a giant Famolare shoe foot bed/sole. I think there was only one and it was to prove the point of how good for you the shoes were for your health, etc. And there was a shoe made out of lapis lazuli

    Here is also the promo poster for the hot air balloon race/festival in the late 70s. The bicycle is something you will find on all Famolare shoes. In fact now Famolare Shoes exists under Bicycle, Inc.

    When the Famolares lived in Italy, Joe became fascinated by the tall old fashioned looking bikes some people rode around.
    Even my leather mocs have a rubber piece (like the size of a penny) in the leather sole with the bike on it. You can't see it in a photo on black rubber, but it is definitely there and shows up in a footprint.
  14. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes VFG Veteran VFG Past President

    Whoops..forgot this!

    <img src="http://image.inkfrog.com/pix/kitschnsink/famolareballon.jpg" width=234 height=300>
  15. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    I don't remember any Famolare ads on TV either, but you could be right that they could have been regional.
  16. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes VFG Veteran VFG Past President

    Part VI: Joe's Retirement and the future of Famolare shoes


    Joe is 73 years old this year and living in Vermont. (his adopted state) He is married to the same woman he met at Emerson college in his 20s and has grown daughters.

    In 1989, he licensed his company and retired.
    (more on id'ing new vs vintage later)

    He was inducted into the Fashion Association Hall of Fame in 1995. But ritirement bored him, so he turned an old farm into Vermont Agricultural, Business, Education Center (VABEC). There is a nursing school, buildings for Famolare shoes, land trust societies, and Vermont College.

    His other major project is bringing business (both domestic and international) back to the city of Brattleboro Vermont. Many canadian and international businesses left over the years., and has worked with his daughter, Hilary, to create a Foreign Trade Zone to fight escalating property taxes as well as to combat abandoned empy warehouses left in the wake of Georgia-Pacific Paper and other companies leaving.

    What is next for Joe Famolare? He certainly is a busy guy. He also, as of last year, according to an employee of Famolare shoes, is still in the mix. he still is involved on a day to day basis with Famolare shoes. He has an office, and although he has licensed part of the company out, it is still very much his child and he is very much involved.
  17. bartondoll

    bartondoll Guest

    Interesting Chris.....I'm not a shoe person at all, probably due to my
    extreme ignorance when it comes to footwear. I'm finding the more I
    learn (particularly) the interesting trivia tidbit info is helping me retain
    stuff about shoes! :)

    Oh......Andy Warhol?

  18. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes VFG Veteran VFG Past President

    Vintage vs Modern, and other tidbits

    One thing you will notice between pre 1989 Famolares and those made to day, if you had no idea about what style was when, is to look at the font that "Famolare is in". All the examples shown here have some curve to the lettering, whether it is more or less script . like the moccasins or it is an arabic letter with some little rounding,

    <img src="http://image.inkfrog.com/pix/kitschnsink/hitheredenisebrainsole.jpg" width=383 height=191>

    I don't know what the name of the font is...so i know i sound silly, or maybe just tired.

    But below here is an example of a modern, current Famolare shoe. The font is more of a roman style block font Although they still make a few styles using the "Get There " foot bed and more or less a loafer, i think you will notice that the styles are more similar to something Birkenstock would carry. Not on the actual footbed but a few of the styles..
  19. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes VFG Veteran VFG Past President

    Yes Sue....that is absolutely right. Andy Warhol

    And it really helped put another interesting tidbit of information for me together. I saw the illustration he did of all the shoes in one pictures strewn all over the place and wondered where he got his inspiration, thinking maybe he had been first a product illustrator, but it was not til I was researching and came acrossed it that I put two and two together that it was those nights/days sweeping the floor at the shoe company....maybe shoes danced around in his head at night long before Campbell's Soup
  20. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes VFG Veteran VFG Past President

    I am not a big shoe expert either also, but i just know about the little segment of the shoe world from my trials and mistakes. I in fact didn't know a lot about Famolare shoes, but I became quickly intrigued. I started to research it after i got those red and white shoes because the name rang a bell, and then i realized it was the same guy who made the platforms i wish i still had.

    What makes it all come alive for me are the different references i found along the way to things i was very familiar with and also getting to know about Joe. he is definitely a character that comes to life versus a stuffy CEO of some company that has a publicist to report his thoughts.

    I also could related to a few things about his life, esp our similar initial education.

    I firmly believe in a theater education, and really have found it interesting the people that I have come acrossed in life or reading about who had studied in the theater and then turned it into something completely different, but the skills gained there being so valuable - PR, public speaking, design sensibilty, managing personality types outside of the office environment, etc.

    Also. since i am marginally visually impaired what I wear on my feet is critically important to guard them against injury, and some of the delicate "kitten heel" shoes are out of the question not just for balance but the "non protection" of the feet. I learned a lot from Jonathan that a skinny heel doesn't matter so much if the shoe is well balanced. (like those heel less high heels) but for the majority of my life, ever since I hit a reasonable age of wearing high heels i sought my shoes to not only be shiny, but my heels high off the ground, so shoes with substantial soles have always had a larger appeal for me.

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