Beth Levine (nee Katz -1914-2006) was America's most important shoe designer from the 1940s until the 1970s. She was the daughter of a Jewish Lithuanian immgrant farmer on Long Island. Levine began her career as a shoe model with a tiny size 4B foot. She rapidly rose to designer and was employed by many high end New York shoe manufacturers. When she met her husband, Herbert, in 1946, she took his name professionally because shoe design was a male dominated industry. Beth Levine was responsible for many inventive designs such as backless and topless shoes, stretch vinyl boots without zippers and introduced the stiletto heel to America. Her clients included Jackie Kennedy, Ava Gardner, Marlene Dietrich, Nancy Sinatra (These Boots were made for Walking), Barbra Streisand, Marilyn Munroe and Joan Crawford. In 1967 and 1973 Levine won the prestigious Coty American Fashion Critics' Award. Her company manufactured her designs until 1975 but she continued to work with prestigious New York designers long after. She died of lung cancer at the age of 91.
(Information supplied by Helene Verin)