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Bold Moves – The “Avant Garde” Vintage Shoe Collection with Karolina Zebrowska

Today is quite an exciting day. We’re proud to introduce a new capsule collection in collaboration with Karolina Zebrowksa!

The story of this collection is rather amusing. In 2020, Karolina posted a video, “Why Is No One Talking About 1930s Shoes?” and it resulted in a petition on Change.org for us to collaborate. OK, only 46 people signed, but the fact that it even happened was enough! We got together with Karolina and started working on a few super cool vintage designs.

It’s taken quite awhile for the collection to come to fruition – plague, war, and economics got in the way – but after much back and forth, many doodles, prototypes, and color swatches, we present to you the Karolina Oxfords and the Meme Pumps.

Karolina’s love of Surrealism and bold color and design formed the inspiration for her capsule collection. We swatched color palettes from art, fashion, and advertising of the period, developing two quintessentially ’30s vibes with a hot pink, black, and metallic gold palette as well as a teal, coral, and black “St. Tropez” feeling palette. Though both very bold mixes, we’ve also offered both styles in all-black with the emphasis on the shapes, cutouts, and materials.

A bit of swatching to develop the color palettes for the Karolina collection. We wanted to do two strong palettes + black for both designs.

Karolina Oxfords

The Karolina Oxfords are crafted in suede with interesting curves, tiny cutouts, and a beautiful silhouette. Don’t be afraid of suede shoes! Footwear suede is specially tanned to be durable and hold up to wet weather without getting spotted or ruined.

We based this design on this cool pair of cross-strap shoes from Shoe Icons, but reformatted it into a more practical oxford. The Karolina oxford is built on our Evelyn last last with a rounded toe and 2.5 inch / 6.3 cm 1930s heel. Very comfortable and elegant.


Meme Pumps

The Meme Pumps are a very close version of another Shoe Icons original from 1937-1938, a wonderful Art Deco design with geometric cutouts and playful material combination. We opted to back the vamp cutouts with contrasting leather to bring out the pops of color and make the shoe more practical for all-season wear.

Memes definitely span the ages. While they are very 1930s, imagine them with a 1980s outfit, especially the coral pink with the teal insets and black heels. The Memes are similar in fit to Hazel, with an almond-shaped toe and our 2.5 inch / 6.3 cm ’30s heel.


But wait, there’s more…

While the big huzzah is the collaboration with Karolina, we wanted to offer another quite bold design for those wanting something a bit older, so included in this collection is the rather wonderful Endora Victorian Witch Shoes.

The Endoras are a direct reproduction of these T.E. Moseley and Co 1890s shoes in the Shoe Icons collection. (Yes, we really, really love this museum). Two-button closure and the most incredible cutout vamp with high pointed tongue is built on our pointed-toe last shared with Bellatrix and Mae, and the 2.25 inch / 5.7 inch French heel.

The original 1890s shoe from Shoe Icons

We have black, of course, and dark red is a must, but there are also two bold colors – Arsenic Green and Poison Purple. Don’t forget your button hook with these.


Pre-Order is Open
May 6 – May 20, 2022
US Women’s Size 5 – 12
$20/€20 discount per pair

USA – https://www.americanduchess.com/collections/avant-garde-may-2022
Europe – https://americanduchess.eu/collections/avant-garde-may-2022

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