Boing Boing Shoes!
These amazing Zebedee shoes were designed and made by Terry de Havilland in 1979.
We acquired them from the original owner who purchased them from Terry de Havilland’s shop on the Kings Road, London.
‘One day we were passing the Terry de Havilland boutique and I noticed a ‘sale’ sign in the window. Never being able to miss a bargain I persuaded my husband to stop…the Zebedee shoes were in the window and I could not take my eyes off them!
It was not just because they were a fantastically unusual design with their gold leather lightning flashes – a la Ziggy Stardust I thought – and spring heels, but they were also so elegant, beautifully made and most importantly wearable. I knew instinctively that they were very special and I just had to have them!’
We are always looking to acquire designer shoes for our world famous shoe collection, including contemporary and vintage examples.
This amazing boot was designed and made by Sandeep Bhikha when he was a Footwear Design student at Leicester de Montfort University in 2006. The Shoe Collection is always happy to support students and future shoe designers and is delighted to be the home for some of their designs.
The design concept of the Nandi boot is to celebrate the traditional arts and crafts practiced by the Southern African Tribe called the Ama-Ndebele (pronounced ama-sinde-bele). They were once a warrier tribe whose women folk maintain the family homestead by decorating and crafting garments and artifacts. The geometric design lines are a tradition that has been followed from generation to generation, from mother to daughter, through verbal and visual teachings. The vibrant symbols and expressions represent communications of personal prayers, self-identification, values, emotions, and marriage. Unfortunately this practice of art and design is dwindling due to the pressures of the modern world.
In terms of design the boot upper is decorated with geometric lines resembling the wall decoration of Ndebele houses, highlighting the identity and uniqueness of the art.
The fastening a ‘one pull’ toggle-pulley on the inner-bootleg is a self-developed idea, which has been created to allow the wearer to slip their foot in easily and to quickly draw the rope at the top of the boot, which will automatically fasten the bootleg without reaching down.
The brass rings on the heel and the brass welting on the forepart, are a concept developed and inspired by the brass neck choke rings that the Ndebele women wear, these ring are presented to them on their wedding day by their husbands. The rings on the heels have are loose fitting, as the idea is to create a subtle alluring jingle sound, while walking.
On the 20th & 21st March 2013, Northampton Museum & Art Gallery and The University of Northampton held a World Footwear Conference exploring the significance of shoes, encouraging discussion and debate by academics and keynote speakers from around the world. Martina, our intern from Austria went to the conference and this is what she thought:
Image from Northampton Museum & Art Gallery’s world footwear collection
“I was impressed by the wide range of topics which could be coved during these 2 days of the World Footwear Conference 2013! From monosandalism in ancient Greek mythology and art (Sue Blundell), to the significance of the development of the trainer brands Adidas and Puma during the Nazi regime (Thomas Turner). Even a shoe fashion amateur like me could get a lot out of this Conference and allowed me to get to know fields of science I didn’t know existed, such as Ellen Sampsons research addressing the relationship between footwear, the body and memory. Here I learned about theories of a reciprocal dialogue between the wearer and the shoe and the particular embodied attachment that has yet to be explored.
Image from Northampton Museum & Art Gallery’s trainer collection
The World Footwear conference gathered Footwear specialists, artist and scientists from all around the globe. It was interesting to also see young students actively involved, questioning and asking questions to respected speakers which they would normally only read about in their lectures. Maybe one of the talented juniors will be able to give a definite answer to Rebecca Shawcross’ question: Is the single shoe in need of its pair?”
- Image: Tom Hackett 2013
Did you attend the World Footwear Conference? What were your thoughts?
The Destruction of Phipps Brewery by Peter Newcombe (1943- ), oil on board, c.1975
This painting was chosen as ‘Painting of the Month’ due to its subject matter- Phipps brewery. The old brewery was closely associated with the shoe trade in Northampton.
Pickering Phipps started brewing in 1801 in Towcester but by1900 all production had moved to Northampton following a fire that destroyed the original brewery. The factory was demolished in 1973 after the company was taken over by Watney Mann (Midlands) Ltd in 1968.
The Destruction of Phipps Brewery
Jeffery-West has collaborated with Phipps NBC Brewery to produce a limited edition ale to promote their exhibition ‘If We Could Be Heroes’. This exhibition can be seen in Gallery 1, on the ground floor, Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, along with more information about the brewery and ‘Shoemaker’s Monday’.
Wear it, fold it, fits in your pocket too!
These pumps are a wonderful addition to our contemporary footwear collection, which we are always trying to continually update and expand.
DEBBY® Inc have released the innovative DEBBY Pumps. The ever so light, very soft, foldable shoes that can be tucked away into little spaces like a coat pocket! The soft luxurious leather used and their construction combines a flat court with a sneaker making this a perfect choice for walking, casual or smart wear. The shoes fold away in their own recyclable bag thereby helping to reduce their carbon footprint.
I started volunteering at Northampton Museum in August 2012 and instantly began working on the Jeffery-West exhibition to mark their 25th anniversary.
My main role was to conduct research and gather information to write the content for the panels around the exhibition. I began researching the company and putting together a list of questions to ask one of the designers, Guy West in an interview. I had never interviewed anyone so I was nervous but excited to try it and get lots of interesting facts. Some of my favourite questions and answers were…
What is your favourite shoe that you’ve made to date?
‘Oh that’s a difficult one isn’t it? I think the one defining design that we did which is still recognised as a Jeffery-West shoe was what we called an arrow head brogue and it’s based on gothic architecture. We redesigned the wing tip on a brogue and used our diamond punching.’
What is the significance of your ‘heroes’ when it comes to designing shoes?
‘The attitude I think. Most of them were quite maverick, again fiercely individual and not really caring too much what other people say either.’
If you could design a pair of shoes for anyone dead or alive whom would it be and why?
‘It would have to be Richard Burton.I think probably when I was younger the whole glamour of him and Liz Taylor appealed, the yachts, the cars and the best looking girl but he also lived his life how he wanted to live his life.’
I have written all of the text for the panels that are around the exhibition, covering everything from the origins of the company to their collaborations with different creative people. We met regularly with Guy West to talk about the plans for the exhibition and the ideas that we had and it was great to be a part of the development of the exhibition.
My favourite part was the installation week where I worked with Guy West and the museum staff to get objects out from the collection, position items and see it all come together after months of preparation. I also really enjoyed learning about Northampton’s heritage and the great things and people to come from Northampton. From Science fiction writer Alan Moore, to Phipps Brewery and Photographer Rhys Frampton, Jeffery-West are proud to come from Northampton and work with local people and it’s nice to see the exhibition celebrate a success story from our county.
It’s Christmas, Chuck
These All Star Chuck Taylors are full of Christmas cheer. The Converse Company, has produced special versions of Chuck Taylors for the Christmas holiday season over the years. This pair were produced in 1990. The Christmas versions of their world famous shoes are usually red and green, and are either tartan fabric or two colours. The company has also made pairs with different Santa Claus patterns, like these. Christmas Chucks feature a special All Star side patch with a red and green wreath instead of the dotted line border.
All Star Chuck Taylors
They are definitely a seasonal item to be worn along with the Christmas jumper and Rudolph tie.
Northampton Museum and Art Gallery wish you all a shoe-perb Christmas.