Heelless Cantilevered Pumps
Italian, Mario Brini, ca. 1959

Pair of “heelless” cantilevered pumps. Stamped in gold on insole of each shoe: “Creazioni Mario Brini / Brevetto No. 11233”; stamped on bottom of sole of each shoe: “BREV. NO...Griffi ITALY”; and “37”;; interior of each marked on suede: “1447 DN 37”.

In 1958, Italian inventor Romeo Griffi filed patents in Italy, America, and England for a cantilevered shoe meant to aid leg and spinal issues associated with wearing stilettos. While the resulting design is arguably less ergonomic than intended, as it shifts weight to the ball of the foot, the unusual and futuristic form enjoyed brief success in the late 1950s and early 1960s after Griffi licensed it to shoemakers internationally, including Ferragamo. This pair bears a stamp on the bottom of each sole with Griffi’s patent number, as well as an unidentified patent number of the maker, Mario Brini, embossed on each insole.

A pair by Mario Brini are in the collection of the Powerhouse Museum (97/246/1).

Heelless Cantilevered Pumps
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