Beth Levine

Beth Levine was a brand of shoes. In 1958, in a window at Tiffany’s in New York, next to a precious jewelled clutch bag by Jean Schlumberger, a triumph was achieved by a pair of low-cut shoes with peacock feathers created for the occasion by Beth Levine. In fact, in the 1960s the most eccentric and unusual shoes were created by American designers, in particular by Beth and Herbert Levine. In 1967 they designed a shoe that became the stuff of legend: the stretch boot with which they won a Coty Award. Shortly after, they came out with the short-boot, a unique and inseparable item, considered that shoes were now an article of clothing item and vice versa. And in the early 1970s, the era of folk culture, flowers everywhere, clogs, Indian sandals, and the discovery and adoption of alternate clothing styles from far-away countries, Herbert Levine re-designed and launched for the American market the Hu-Gee, the traditional shoes worn by Chinese women. It was a model in red lacquer with a decidedly stylized shape. It was the time, 1971, when Nixon made his opening with China.
At the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, there was an exhibit entitled Herbert and Beth Levine: An American Pai, a play on words meant to introduce a 30-year retrospective of their work from 1948 to 1975, including shoes made of light plastic and paper.
Representative samples of Herbert Levine Inc., which closed down in 1975, are kept in several museums in the U.S., and by the Texas Fashion Collection of the School of Visual Arts at North Texas University.