THE JACQUES LEVINE STORY AND LEGACY
In 1936, inspired by his depression-era success of providing women with fresh, colorful new fashions and determined to deliver the same in women’s footwear, Falk Levine opened a small shoe factory in Middletown, New York. With a flair and affinity for distinct, feminine styles, Falk created the innovative open-toe sandal and the revolutionary mule – a provocative, backless shoe that has remained a staple wardrobe style in women’s closets for more than 70 years.
During the decade that followed, the company’s style portfolio expanded to include evening dress shoes -- an effort led by Falk’s son and protégé Jacques, and the impetus for the new Jacques Levine brand. Post WWII, Jacques began the then-progressive practice of “shopping the world market”-- identifying emerging footwear trends and translating them into designs for the American marketplace. His travels also expanded the company’s sourcing capabilities as Jacques established relationships with factories highly-regarded for their their craftsmanship in France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Brazil.
Most symbolic of Jacques’ international experience is the iconic Jacques Levine collection still recognized and revered around the world since its launch in 1969: feminine, soft, kidskin slippers crafted in Spain.
Jacques vibrant, tireless and graceful wife, Florence, travelled around the world with him during his never-ending quest for design inspiration. “Florrie” – Florence’s nickname while young, in love, and building the roots of her family -- personified the modern woman’s progressive attitude of balancing independence with household responsibilities, exuding confidence while presenting herself with tasteful style and quiet elegance. Known for her attention to detail as well as her eye for quality at any price, Florrie was a brilliant influence to the Jacques Levine brand.In the early 1970’s Jacques & Florrie’s son Harold Levine became the third generation to lead the company. Harold’s most notable achievement was introducing the exciting and fresh espadrille to the American marketplace.
Now under the direction of Harold’s nephew and fourth-generation family member, Sam Calvanio, the company continues its success by revering the family’s most cherished legacies and heritage products while evolving the brand to meet the sophisticated style desires of today’s modern women.