item 73 - Herbert Levine interview, 1982 November 23

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Herbert Levine interview, 1982 November 23


  • 1982 November 23 (Creation)

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Herbert (1916 - 1991) and Beth Levine (1914 - 2006) founded the Herbert Levine company in 1948. Their company, which sold high-end women's shoes made in New York, was one of the leading footwear design firms in the country. Their designs were worn by many celebrities including Jacqueline Kennedy and Liza Minnelli. Nancy Sinatra wore Herbert Levine white stiletto boots while singing about them in the mid-1960s. These boots, which were made for walking, started the Go-Go boot trend of the 60s. In 1964, Barbra Streisand wore Levine shoes during the run of her show "Funny Girl" on Broadway. In addition to the stage, Herbert Levine shoes were produced to be worn during fashion shows for designers like Halston and Pauline Trigère. The company folded in 1975. A year later, the Metropolitan Museum dedicated an exhibition to their designs. After closing their firm, the couple acted as consultants in the shoe industry in New York. The couple won two Coty Awards (1967 and 1973) and a Neiman Marcus Award (1954).

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"Mildred Finger Haines ... helped shape fashion tastes for four decades as a top buyer for department stores and a consultant to clothes makers and retailers.... From the late 1940's through the late 1960's, Mrs. Haines, known throughout her career as Mildred Finger, was a buyer of ready-to-wear at Macy's, Ohrbach's and Bergdorf Goodman, and was one of New York City's most often cited taste makers. At Bergdorf's, in particular, she was noted for bringing European styles to American consumers. She later became Vice President of Charles of the Ritz, headed fashion merchandising for Yves St. Laurent and became an independent consultant, with clients like the Limited and Arthur D. Little. Suffering from multiple sclerosis, she retired in 1986. In succeeding years, she frequently contributed her knowledge of the fashion industry to the oral history projects of the American Jewish Committee and the Fashion Institute of Technology...." New York Times Obituary, 1995

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  • Legacy audio ID no: AOH88
  • Legacy video ID no: N/A
  • Legacy transcription ID no:

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