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THE FIRST ZIPPER HIGH BOOTS – AN INVENTION BY RUSSIAN DESIGNER VERA ARALOVA

20-DEC-2017




Today, the most widely used type of fastener is zipper. It’s impossible even to imagine a bag or high boots without this wonderful invention. In 1851, American inventor of sewing machine Elias Howe conceived the basic idea of such fastener. Zipper was patented as a “shoe fastener” in year 1891 by another American Whitcomb Judson.

At first, zipper was used to fasten frogs and rubber boots. And it should be mentioned that the first zippers were quite inconvenient and unreliable. In 1913, Swedish-American engineer Gideon Sundback brought this zipper up to date by turning the invention into a construction with two rows of scoops, which is common nowadays.
But there are few of us, who remember the history of women’s zipper high boots. The history that began in the Soviet Union in the late nineteen-fifties.

During Stalin’s regime, the “Iron Curtain” was drawn between the Soviet Union and the Western countries. All the relations, including cultural ones, were suspended. 

Russian models and designers, being treated as spies, were not allowed to travel abroad. At the same time, refined and elegant shoes weren’t made in the Soviet Union at all, as they were considered to be the “survival of capitalism”.

Nikita Khrushchev lifted the “Iron Curtain” a bit. He started to forge friendly relationship with France. And thus, in year 1959, an event happened, which influenced the whole global shoe manufacturing industry. The USSR and France agreed on holding the Russian Fashion Week in Paris. And in the House of Models on Kuznetsky Most they started creating a new fashion collection. The lead of this collection took designer and artist Vera Aralova.

The collection included traditional Russian clothes, furs and authentic shawls. 

The winter collection required matching shoes, more specifically – high boots. But in those times there were no elegant tight-fitting high boots of soft skin. High boots looked rough and unattractive. And suddenly Vera Aralova got an idea to sew a zipper in high boots. This model of high boots was ordered at the designer’s own expense in the workshop of the Bolshoi Theatre.

Russian Fashion show of 1959 created a real sensation. French trendsetters were especially enthusiastic about red zipped high boots, demonstrated together with caliber coat and traditional Russian shawl from Pavlov Posad. The boots had a high top and a low heel, decorated with a fancy applique work. These high boots were immediately called the “Russian boots”.

European designers, manufacturers and experts studied the sewn in fastener thoroughly and everyone asked, whether it had been patented, whether they could buy the license or a sample. But it was forbidden by the Soviet laws, and the Soviet delegation flatly refused to sell the samples. The great invention returned back to the USSR and was forgotten for as long as 10 years.

However, in a year’s time after the Russian Fashion Week in France, all the famous boutiques in Europe started selling the “Russian boots”, produced by European shoe factories, but no one mentioned the fact that they had been invented by Vera Aralova.


 

Today, on the modern runways, lots of fancy and various forms of high boots can be seen and no elegant model of boots can do without such a necessary and convenient accessory as zipper fastener.

2017 - 2018 Boots collection

Cosmina Suciu FW 2018


Chloé SS 2018


Christian Dior SS 2018


Dolce & Gabbana SS 2018



Balmain SS 2018





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