Summary

Pair of cream sandals with gold sole and lining, in open sandal style. Labelled 'Made expressly for Mrs. A. A. Davison, 1947'. Mrs Davison was the donor's mother-in-law. The donor recalls that she herself wore them in France about 1950-1960, and that they 'killed' her feet.

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.

Physical Description

Pair of size 9, cream-coloured sandals; gold detail on the outer skirts of the leather. Criss-cross straps around ankle, secured with buckle. Criss-cross straps also across toes of shoes, seen as a knot. Cream and gold leather soles, with high heels.

Significance

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.

More Information

  • Collection Names

    Paragon Shoe Collection

  • Collecting Areas

    Working Life & Trades, Clothing & Textiles

  • Acquisition Information

    Donation from Mrs Diana Gaze, Mrs Diana Gaze, 26/10/2005

  • Manufacturer

    Paragon Shoes, Melbourne, Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1948

  • Inscriptions

    Printed on inside of sole: "Paragon / REGD / The Shoe Beautiful / Last / No 337 B / MADE EXPRESSIVELY FOR / Mrs. A.A.Davison" Label attached to underside of sole: " 1947 PARAGON / PARAGON PROPERTY

  • Classification

    Clothing, Female, Footwear

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline

    Technology

  • Type of item

    Object

  • Overall Dimensions

    21 cm (Length), 17 cm (Width), 13 cm (Height)

  • References

    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.

  • Keywords

    Footwear Industry, Manufacturing, Making History - Paragon Shoes