David Evins was born in England, but emigrated to the USA at the age of 13. He studied illustration at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. One of his first jobs was as an illustrator with VOGUE but he was fired by the editor who said his shoe renderings "reeked of artistic license". So he went to work as a pattern maker for shoes.
In 1941, he secured a contract with I. Miller to produce shoes under his own label. In 1949, the fashion industry presented the "King of Pumps" with a coveted Coty Award for his decollete shell pumps.
Throughout his long career, David Evins turned out classic shoes that were as modish as they were comfortable. The wealthy and powerful flocked to him because they recognized that he was a master of his craft. Even the Duchess of Windsor, routinely commissioned shoes from him and hailed him as a genius.
Platform slingbacks were considered racy in the 40's specially with rows of rhinestones. Posters of Rita Hayworth wearing David Evins satin platforms like these, were a fixture in many US servicemens quarters.
He shod every President's wife from Mamie Eisenhower onwards, and designed both pairs of Nancy Reagan's Inaugural pumps.
Movie stars loved him because his creations embodied their own personalities as much as the characters they portrayed. In 1934 Evins made a multi-coloured pave wedge sandal with tubular straps for Claudette Colbert to wear as the screen Cleopatra. 30 years later he made a beautiful pair of gold brocade mules with silver sequins and jet beads, for Elizabeth Taylor to wear in the second version of the film 'Cleopatra' in 1963.
He shod Ava Gardner, Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich and the low-heeled pumps Grace Kelly wore for her wedding to Prince Rainier.
Here is a pair of Evins lace-ups from the 60's combining leopard skin and satin.
Pant boots, so named because they were designed to be worn with women's pantsuits, became very popular in the late 60's and early 70's. David Evins fashioned these embossed alligator boots with silver kidskin in 1967 for New York socialite Babe Paley.
He was one of the most creative shoe designers in the world.