Summary

Pair of court shoes with uppers of red textured leather, and black patent heel and pointed toe. 'Chaussures' brand, part of the Pierre Fontaine range, made in 1990 by Paragon. With matching clutch bag HT 11689.

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.

Physical Description

Court shoes with narrow, black patent heel and pointed toe; low cut sides to uppers. Uppers of red textured leather - "Zebratto".

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.

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