Saturday, November 15, 2008

Who was the original Mary Jane?

My red slippers was featured today at etsy treasury of Mary Jane shoes.
When I featured the screen-print of it at my flickr, Sonia asked who was the original Mary Jane (actually I was curious about it for a long time too).
I am using this term so often as I'm spending long hours sewing and promoting my homemade Mary Janes. Besides that since my childhood I was obsessed with this kind of shoes (doesn't every girl obsessed with it?).
Back to my childhood, I didn't even know the term Mary Jane, in Hebrew we call them simply doll shoes.
I got to make my slippers and shoes after the shoes I designed for my dolls were adored by one of my costumers who was recovering from some surgery in her feet, she couldn't walk much. She had some of my dogs as company and she said that she will love to feel like one of my human dolls as their shoes look so soft and comfortable while her feet hurt. That was the beginning of my Mary Janes but now I want to share with you what I was discovered today about the original Mary Jane:
Apparently she was a comics strips character, she was the sister of well known comics character Buster Brown. Buster brown was published at the New York herald since 1902 by Richard F. Outcault.
At 1904 Outcault sold the rights of using the Buster Brown characters to few companies at The st. Luis world's fair, among them had been The Brown Shoe Company, that became the most prominently associated brand with the Buster Brown characters. The style of shoe Buster Brown and his sister wore came to be known by her name, Mary Jane.
Take a look at some strip-
Buster and Mary are the two kids with the big hats, Mary has dark hair and she wears the big blue knot bow. Buster is the one with the blond hair.
It seems like the both kids wear the same kind of shoes, I am just wondering how came that nowadays the shoes are well known as hers and not his. After all he is the main character. Sonia commented that back to her childhood there were also well known Buster Brown shoes.

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