From The Met, Filipino shoe exporter steps into HallOne

Shoes from the 1800s to 1930s was dominated by the vaudeville genre, which is characterized by concert saloons, minstrelsies, freak shows, dime museums and literary burlesque

Shoes from the 1800s to 1930s was dominated by the vaudeville genre, which is characterized by concert saloons, minstrelsies, freak shows, dime museums and literary burlesque

Successful New York miniature exhibit comes home to Manila
A unique miniature shoe exhibition titled Stepping out of the Shoebox: A Filipino Exporter’s Journey to Global Manufacturing Excellence and Design takes the audience in a journey into the inventive evolution of shoes throughout the centuries.

Launched over the summer, the exhibition is currently ongoing at HallOne of the International Trade Center in Pasay City, and will run until October.

Featuring some 121 crafted and hand-painted cast resin shoe collectibles, which were originally showcased in a series of exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) in New York, the miniature shoes were inspired from actual shoe designs representing different eras. Included in the collection are the cream print pumps called “Romance Floral” from the year 1913, and a more recent Alexander McQueen’s armadillo shoes, which are frequently sported by celebrities like the Queen of Pop, Lady Gaga.

The miniature shoes were manufactured by high-quality giftware exporter Marykel Company, owned by husband-and-wife team Edwin and Frances Hernandez. The Marykel Company has been an 18-year supplier of The Met, a clear testimony of the Filipino’s endurance and aptitude in taking on the challenges of the worldwide market.

The creation of miniature shoe collectibles started when creative director Frances Hernandez’s failed to impress Richard Stevens, The Met’s manager of three-dimensional reproductions, with her 16-inch high shoe covered with plastic cabbage leaves. Stevens, however, noticed the realness of the cabbage and the way it was made, and asked if she could make two- to three-inch versions of shoes. These miniature shoes, as a result of Steven’s innovative idea, would then be produced as Christmas tree ornaments. Hence, the start of manufacturing world-renowned and exclusive Christmas tree ornament shoes.

The Stepping out of the Shoebox exhibition is a special project of the Center for International Trade Exposition and Missions (Citem), the export promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). It underlines the country’s strong capability in detailed craftsmanship and artisanal designs.

On exhibit are miniature versions of footwear that existed from the vaudeville genre (1800s to 1930s), period of the Great Depression (1930s to 1950s), period of socio-economic upheavals (1960s to 1970s), period of general economic wealth (1980s to 1990s), up to the contemporary period.

During the 1800s to 1930s, vaudeville was a genre that reigned in the United States and Canada. This genre is characterized by concert saloons, minstrelsies, freak shows, dime museums and literary burlesque. The footwear on display, which reflects the artistic, imaginative, and intrepid sense of the era, bears a resemblance to that of the footgear used during this period that were retained at The Met’s Costume Institute.

The period of Great Depression (1930s to 1950s) brought back the sense of conservative and feminine style that hints vintage fashion and haute couture. Notwithstanding the decline in the world economy, pastel colors dominated the shoe designs found in Italy, France, and the US. Some of the miniature shoes on display representing this era are red and black t-strap that is based on a pair of burgundy suede sandals originally made in Italy in 1955; and the glittering-flower shoe that is based on a high-heeled evening shoes made in France in 1957.

Just as the period of Great Depression came to meet its end, the period of socio-economic upheavals (1960s to 1970s) arises together with the more empowered and hyped-up outlook in fashion. Androgynous and hippie panaches were also the trend that inspired the footwear designs in this era. One of the strikingly exceptional shoe embellishments found in this era is the silver-beaded buckle shoe that is based on striking black satin evening pumps produced in Italy.

With the end of socio-economic upheavals came the period of general economic wealth (1980s to 1990s), where individuals would strive for attention. Thus, extreme fashion preference was the trend where neon and metallic colors and glitters were essential. One of the many eye-catching pieces found in this era is the glittering-gold shoe décor that is based on impressive high-heeled shoes produced in America in the late 1950s to early 1960s.

As time proceeds, fortitude moved to another level that helped pushed in embracing another different side that is fashion-forward in style. Experimental, bold, vibrant and chic are such the styles of the leading signature brands in the shoe industry—a few of which are Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Christian Louboutin, and Elsa Schiaparelli.

Stepping out of the Shoebox is a testament to the Filipino exporters’ natural abilities in craftsmanship and manufacturing excellence.

The permanent showroom of Citem, HallOne is the Philippine’s venue brand and facility for year-round product sourcing, events, exhibitions, and stakeholder support services that aim to inspire, champion, and celebrate Filipino creativity, design and craftsmanship.

For more information, call 831-2201 local 600 or e-mail at


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