memories of the ’80s – jelly shoes

For those stylish young women of the ’80s, one of the key items to own: jelly shoes.

These PVC flexible shoes became all the rage, especially with the teen and 20 something set for its bright colours, summer style and affordable price – perfect for the young fashionable thing who wanted to increase her wardrobe options.

Although the shoes had been around since the 1950s, in the early 1980s, an American businessman travelled to Brazil and saw many women wearing stylish affordable shoes made by Grendene.

Buying the US distribution rights, jelly shoes started to slowly appear in stores in the southeast US, but hit the fashion pages like wildfire when they debuted on the shelves of Bloomingdale’s in New York City in 1983.

But some fashionistas believe the shoes were from France, a creation made because of the shortage of leather.

The most popular style of these squishy shoes was the fisherman sandal – a t-strap with round toe. Available in a wide range of colours, the shoes were available in numerous styles from flat heeled sandals to ankle boots.

For girls of the ’80s, who could buy these shoes anywhere from a drugstore to a department store, the jelly shoe was the de rigeur style addition to their colourful wardrobe.

memories of the ’70s – Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress

Designer Diane von Furstenberg was the name women wanted on their wardrobe, especially with the debut of her eventually iconic design – the wrap dress.

Launching her company in 1970, von Furstenberg took her small investment of $30,000 and started to design.

After her divorce in 1972, von Furstenberg moved to New York City and showed her designs to then editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine Diana Vreeland, who loved what she had created and put her name on the calendar for New York Fashion Week.

In 1974, von Furstenberg debuted the wrap dress, and its wildfire success with women across the United States made sure everyone knew her moniker and her clothing.

Due to the success of her wrap dress and popularity with fashion editors as well as stylish women, von Furstenberg landed on the cover of Newsweek in 1976, and spoke about her view of women:

“…We all have a wonder woman inside us…” which spoke volumes about how she saw the changing role of women in business and how fashion needed to reflect those changes.

A popular designer in the 21st century, von Furstenberg’s simplicity and classic styles have made her one of lasting American fashion designers.

memories of the ’80s – Elle Macpherson

In the 1980s, we soon all learned about “The Body” from Australia – supermodel Elle Macpherson.

Born Eleanor Gow in New South Wales, Australia, Elle Macpherson grew up in Sydney and studied law for one year before moving to the United States in 1981 to pursue her modelling career.

Signing with Click Modeling Agency in New York City, Macpherson’s first major national appearance was in a television commercial for Tab soft drink.

Becoming a favourite of Elle Magazine (where she appeared in every issue for six consecutive years, Macpherson landed covers at well-known magazines such as Cosmopolitan, GQ, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

Gracing the cover of Time Magazine in 1986 at a highpoint in her career, Macpherson then began her tenure as a cover model for the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, gracing the cover a record five times – four in the late 1980s and once in the 21st century.

In 1989, she was given the nickname “The Body” by Time Magazine, after appearing on their cover. Along with Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Paulina Porizkova, and Cindy Crawford, Macpherson was part of a new group of supermodels who were the go-to faces for magazines around the world.

Consequently Macpherson has acted in film, produced her own calendars, created her own workout videos and designed her own lingerie collection.

memories of the ’70s – Christie Brinkley

This Michigan girl became the idyllic embodiement of the California supermodel when she launched her modelling career in the 1970s: Christie Brinkley.

Born Christie Lee Hudson in Michigan, as a kid her parents divorced and her Mum remarried David Brinkley and they moved to Los Angeles.

Moving to Paris at age 18 to study art, Brinkley was discovered by photographer Errol Sawyer while at the post office.

Signing with John Casablancas Elite Modelling, Brinkley’s look as a California surfer was genuine but rare in the world of modelling in the early 1970s. Introduced to photographers Patrick Demarchelier and Mike Reinhardt, Brinkley was soon introduced to Eileen Ford and signed three national advertising campaign contracts.

Featured numerous times on the cover of Glamour Magazine, Brinkley was the first model to sign a lengthy contract with a beauty brand – a 25 year contract with CoverGirl.

As well, she became the first model to be on three consecutive Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues, the first issue in 1979.

A successful catwalker since the 1970s, Brinkley became notorious in consequent decades for her acting, marriage to musician Billy Joel and her continuing editorial work, appearing on covers of over 500 magazines so far in her career.

As one of the most successful models of the 20th century, she’s reputedly worth US$80 million in the 21st century.