Advertisement for the Famous-Barr Co. 


 The Art Deco style emerged in the midst of the Roaring 20s, when many felt free to live in a new glamorous, and fashionable way. Designs transitioned from the organic elements of Art Nouveau to the geometric, dazzling designs of Art Deco. This ad is for the brand Laird Schober and Company, a popular footwear brand of the time, which was being sold at Famous-Barr Co. This advertisement is featured in the April 15, 1928 issue of Vogue. Famous-Barr Co. was a sector of Macy’s stores and sold things like clothes, shoes, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products and kitchen necessities. The store was founded in 1911, with its headquarters located in St. Louis, Missouri. Unfortunately, the same company was defunct in 2006. 

The shoe brand that is being advertised, Laird Schober and Company, began in 1870 and created high-quality shoes until their closing in 1965. This brand was praised for its high-quality footwear and the use of machines that improved how quickly shoes could be made, allowing them to make more shoes in a shorter amount of time. Laird Schober and Company also won a multitude of awards, including the Franklin Institute Engineering Award in 1900, for Excellence in Manufacturing of shoes. 

This advertisement reflects the hallmarks of the Art Deco style. More specifically, the sharp, precise lines in the illustration, the elongated limbs and neck of the woman in the illustration and arguably the chosen typeface are all common features of the Art Deco period, which lasted roughly from 1925-39. This advertisement also has an element of symmetry, with the skyscrapers in the background. The use of these skyscrapers could also symbolize the cosmopolitan lifestyle that was gaining popularity during the Art Deco era. Furthermore, the way the skyscrapers were drawn (in a rectangular shape) created a starburst shape, which was another common hallmark of Art Deco. 

It is also important to note that Art Deco was not just a design style, but a “total style” that also had influences on fashion, architecture, graphic design and interior design. This design style emphasizes ideas of luxury and glamor in everyday life, as well as the glorification of machine-produced products. The shoes being advertised were now being mass-produced in a factory, rather than by a craftsman who hand-made shoes for a specific individual.