Mary Jane Shoes
The Mary Jane is a type of shoe that originated and became popular in the early 1900s. Since then, Mary Jane shoes have grown to include many different styles for every type of person – children, adult women, and even men. The shoe has a rich history spanning the whole of the 20th century that keeps strong in today’s time as well.
Although the Mary Jane itself – more specifically, the label – originated in the early 1900s, the style of shoe had actually been around for a long time before. When we talk about the history of Brand House Direct Mary Jane Shoes, it’s important to recognize that we mean the history of the shoe beginning from the point when it began to be called the Mary Jane.
The Mary Jane was named after a character created for “Buster Brown”, an American comic strip by Richard F. Outcault that first appeared in 1902. The 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair saw Outcault sell the licensing rights of “Buster Brown” to 200 companies, one of which being the Brown Shoe Company.
After being sold the rights, Brown Shoe Company produced live performances of the comic strip around the country in theatres, shoe stores and department stores alike. The performances became quite popular and the company then began to be associated with the comic strip. This is why it is commonly mistaken that Brown Shoe Company invented it.
In the comic strip, the specific style of shoe that the character Mary Jane wore became known as the shoe of the same name. Mary Jane shoes grew in popularity seemingly overnight and kept that popularity throughout the whole of the 20th century, although it did change and fluctuate depending on the styles of the time.
Each decade in the 1900s brought a new variation to the style of Mary Jane shoes, each one heavily influenced to other styles in the decade. The 20s saw a low 2 inch heel with a rounded toe, perfect for work or play all day and all night. The 20s also saw a variation of Mary Jane shoes called the “bar shoe”, which were often detailed with beautiful embellishments perfect for elegant evening wear.
In the 30s, Shirley Temple wore a pair of white Mary Janes in the popular film, “Baby Take a Bow”. The 40s saw a decline in popularity of Mary Jane shoes, although there was still a hint of them present in a chunky popular style. As the years went on, they continued adapt to the styles of the times and included high heels and pointy toes with fancy colors and patterns.
The 90s saw a huge revival of Mary Jane shoes with the grunge and punk scenes. This shoe was often white with a low, chunky platform heel inspired by the style of the 60s school girl. No matter how much the Mary Jane has been through, however, it still stays strong, hiding beneath the current trends and waiting for the perfect moment to rise again just as it has each decade before.