One tan and brown leather Paragon shoe, Pierre Fontaine label, with a green leather leaf motif on the front. Date unknown (possibly 1970s).
Paragon Shoes Pty Ltd was one of the most significant 20th century Australian shoe retailers, and at one time was the largest manufacturer of high quality of women's shoes in Australia. Its factory was located in Melbourne, and its shoes were sold throughout Australia and New Zealand.
As fashions changed and new market sectors were pursued, Paragon created new labels for its products. Pierre Fontaine was established in the early 1960s as a cheaper shoe.
One Pierre Fontaine, Paragon left shoe, size 6b, comprised of tan and brown leather, with a low, flat sole. Toe is rounded; the front has a green trim that becomes leaf motif in front of toe. Resin sole.
The Paragon Shoe Collection comprises over 90 objects, including pairs of shoes and single shoes, point-of-sale materials and promotional materials such as business cards and an umbrella bearing the company name. The Collection documents the business and products of Paragon Shoes Pty Ltd, one of the most significant 20th century Australian shoe retailers, and at one time the largest manufacturer of high quality of women’s shoes in Australia. Its factory was located in Melbourne, and its shoes were sold throughout Australia and New Zealand.
The collection was largely donated by a member of the Davison family, which ran the Paragon business for most of the 20th century. It documents the changing designs of Australian women's footwear, from the 1910s to the 1980s. It illustrates the development of new shoe styles, from sample shoes bought overseas to shoes that went into production and were worn by Australian women. The collection is complemented by an archive held at the State Library of Victoria, including company records, shoe design sketch books and further point-of-sale material.
Donation from Mrs Diana Gaze, Mrs Diana Gaze, 26/10/2005
Printed on inside of sole and shoe: "Pierre / Fontaine / MADE BY / TRIMFOOTSHOE CO. P/L / RESIN SOLE / M363 / 6B / SAL 14"
Type of item
22.3 cm (Length), 7.4 cm (Width), 11.5 cm (Height)
Howard, G., 2004. Lex Davison: Larger Than Life'. Turton & Armstrong, Sydney. Copies of several newspaper articles about Paragon from the early 1920s were included with the donation. The State Library of Victoria holds an archive relating to the Paragon business, containing receipt books, account books, advertising, clippings, sample book, sketches, photographs and a poster - MS 13570. The content dates range circa 1928-1988. An additional archive, PA 01/05, ranges 1940s-1980s.