François Pinet (1817 - 1897) in 1854 founded his footwear design company that was based in Paris. His company soon became famous for its elegant and sophisticated boots and shoes, which were keenly bought by fashionable ladies from the high society. These were shoes that fit perfectly with the grand ball room gowns made in the fashion house of Charles Frederick Vorth. But it was not his only key to success ...
Pinet became famous also because he created those special promenade boots... And... a fashionable ladies usually matched them to their magnificent outfits worn in the Crinoline era of 19th century. Promenade boots usually were decorated with fine and very colorful floral embroidery designs, which undoubtedly were not only a signature works of Pinet, but also also a manifestation of romanticism - mood of 19th century.
Shoe manufacturing was a Pinet's family tradition. François learned the skills from his father who was a shoe maker. All that François had started during the 19th century was continued at the beginning of the 20th century by his son who managed to expand a family business. As a result of the company's growth, were the new stores in Nice and London. Roger Vivier, one of the most famous 20th-century shoe designers and Pinet's apprentice also became a creator of design ideas for a company. At that time, the company had already become famous as a very expensive and exclusive maker of footwear. The company specialized in making fine leather shoes for men and also spectacular shoes, embedded with glittering stones, for women's ball room gowns.
Flower-style Embroidery - Master's Signature
The pair of half-boots from the LACMA collection, mentioned at the beginning of the essay, clearly can describe the fashion trends of the 1880's. It was a time when fashionable ladies from the big cities wore notable dresses that were characterized by saturated and slightly shimmering colors, as well as the characteristic bustle which created an excursion at the buttocks. During that time, promenade boots and shoes usually matched the color of the dress and its cloth pattern. Meanwhile, Fr. Pine's style did not change a lot. He still highlighted the top of the shoe, which included embroidery décor on the toe part, as well as a curved line cut at the top of the boot, highlighted by the floral bouquet pattern. The boots were usually complemented by a cloth rosettes or cloth rope depicting small bow ties, as well as matching shoe bands.
The sign of Pine's branded shoes is the curved back of a heel, which in the 19th century could be visually linked to the time of the French monarch Louis XV and his mistress marquise de Pompadour. At that time, such a curved heel was a direct reference to the rococo style with its typical rocaille motif.
François Pinet's Innovations
François Pinet entered the 19th-century fashion scene by immediately introducing a revolutionary shift in shoe design:
he introduced sophisticated women's promenade boots,
he upgraded the heel, making it a signature for an image of fashionable lady of the city,
he first made shoes as a subordinate and important component of the image according to contemporary fashion trends.
Long before the arrival of the hippies who changed fashion scene in the late 60's and 70's, Pinet included embroidered flower patterns in a shoe décor, which had previously been considered only appropriate for a dress decoration. He was the first to bring floral ornaments into the walking boots. They literally allowed "to bloom" on the streets of the city...
Xavier Gille wrote his fascinating story about François Pinet, describing him as the shoe designer for the most elegant fashionistas of 19th century Paris.. The book was released on July 11, 2011. It tells the story of shoe maker's son, François and his exciting way to fame, which once began with a modest wish: to make it easier to walk in the streets of the 19th century cities and also for women in rural villages...