Barbra Streisand rocked these Françios Villon boots in a photo which was featured on the back of her 1984 ‘Emotion’ album. Emotion debuted at #19 on the US Billboard 200 and is certified Platinum in the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Listening to it today is like being transported in a time machine back to the 80’s. Some of my personal favorites on this album include “You’re A Step In The Right Direction”, “Best I Could” and “Left In The Dark”.
During this photo shoot by Steve Schapiro, Barbra posed both solo and with Kim Carnes to promote their duet “Make No Mistake, He’s Mine.”
These cowboy boots were designed by Françios Villon and sold by a boutique called “Shoebiz” in a variety of colors. This store opened in 1979 and was based in San Francisco, selling only high end handcrafted leather shoes which were exclusive to their boutique.
Barbra’s pair was made from white leather and are 12” high. There are 49 diamond shaped studs on the inner and outer sides of each boot, each featuring a hollow circle at the center and etched border. Puffed black leather trim frames these metal pieces from above and below. The boots are pull on and there is an almond toe as well as a stacked 2 1/2” chunky heel. The bottom of the shoes are imprinted with “François Villon Hand Made in Italy Vero Cuoio 38”.
These boots sold at auction in 2004 for $550.00.
Françious Villon (1911-1997) was born Françious Benveniste. He took the last name Villon because of his admiration for the great French poet. Françious created his own design house in 1960 where he specialized in custom made shoes. After five years he was extremely successful and was making shoes for a refined and and famous clientele. Villon made many variations of shoes including heels, thigh high boots, cut boots, and riding boots. His research also led him to create a unique spiral tendril heel.
Soon Villon had boutiques in New York, Milan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Fashion houses like Chanel, Hermés, Nina Ricci and more paired his shoes with their collections in fashion shows. François continued designing until his death in 1997. His creations can often be seen displayed in fashion exhibitions worldwide.