collection SC.105 - Seymour Troy collection, 1936-1977, bulk 1936-1940

Identity area

Reference code



Seymour Troy collection, 1936-1977, bulk 1936-1940


  • 1936-1977 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

5.2 linear feet

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Seymour Troy, born in the textile city of Lodz, Poland, migrated to the United States as a child in 1910. He financed his way through school by selling shoes, and by 1923 he had saved enough money to open his own small factory. For his first firm, Troy chose the name "yrto" (an anagram of his name) in order to give the brand a European sound. Eventually, Troy produced custom shoes under the name Seymour Troy Originals, as well as a ready-made collection under the name Troylings.

In 1960, the National Shoe Retail Association gave Seymour Troy the first annual “Mercury” award to honor him for 35 plus years in the business and numerous valuable contributions to the footwear field. His contributions throughout the years include the asymmetrical strap silhouette; the open sandal; the rolled top opera pump; the baby doll toe; the platform sole; the use of elasticized leathers and vinyl and Lucite in shoes; and the “Valkyrie” – a series of shoes with high-rising instep cover that outdid the classic opera pump in popularity in the 1930s.

Troy passed away in 1975.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Two sketch booklets, approximately 250 sketches, and some shoe pattern cutouts were donated by Mrs. Seymour Troy to the Fashion Institute of Technology in 1978. The rest of the collection was donated in 2010 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This collection consists of sketches, shoe patterns, embellishments, photographs, promotional materials, scrapbooks, and metal stamps from women's footwear company Seymour Troy Originals. The majority of the collection is undated, although it is estimated that most of it is from the 1930s and 1940s. At least one piece of promotional material is from yrto, and there is a scrapbook cover stamped with yrto. Previous documentation of the collection noted that some sketches were by other designers for Seymour Troy, and specifically named Emery Blau, Al Lewis, and "Cohen." It appears that the collection was added to after Seymour Troy's death, as there are at least two sketches dated 1977.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

collection series folder

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access is open to researchers by appointment at the Fashion Institute of Technology Library, Department of Special Collections and FIT Archives.

Conditions governing reproduction

The Department of Special Collections and FIT Archives does not own copyright for all material held in its physical custody. It is the researcher's obligation to abide by and satisfy copyright law ( when copying or using materials (including digital materials) found in or made available from the department. When possible, the department will inform a researcher about the copyright status of material, the researcher's obligations with regard to such material, and, wherever possible, the owner or owners of the copyrights. Any and all reproduction of originals is at the archivist's discretion.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Rehoused 2014. Sketches put in mylar and scrapbooks disbound.

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

The Library of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Department of Special Collections and FIT Archives, 27th St. at 7th Ave., NY, NY, USA, 10001

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

The Gladys Marcus Library catalog record for this collection can be found at this link:

Related descriptions

Notes area


The firm is first listed in the Shoe and Leather Reporter Annual in 1924. Seymour Troy was both president and chief designer; Ella Troy was secretary. Originally based in Brooklyn but later moving to Manhattan, the company is described as a manufacturer of "women’s fine and medium turns". The firm’s trade name was "See More Troy". In 1924 production was 175 pair of shoes daily, rising to 600 per day in 1940. The firm disappears from the Shoe and Leather Reporter Annual after the 1941 edition.

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used




Level of detail


Dates of creation revision deletion


  • English



Archivist's note

Arrangement, description, and/or archival processing by Melissa Perlzweig, FIT, NY, NY, USA.

Accession area