Current place: Mustafaev is dwelling in Moscow, however, has a globe-trotting record. He becomes born in Baku, Azerbaijan, for the duration of the Soviet Union and later moved to Turkmenistan and studied in each St. Petersburg and Minsk. He has worked in Ethiopia, as well.

Followers: About 1,800

The gist
The style industry loves its shoe oddities, from toe footwear to über-pointy footwear. But even those trends must begin someplace. A suitable area for some basic shoe knowledge is @ShoeIcons, an Instagram account that acts as a digital shoe museum. Each piece, that’s from Mustafa’s personal collection, is shot from a distinctive attitude and includes an in depth description. Standouts consist of a kicky boot with a sassy curved Louis heel from Eighteen Nineties Belgium, whole with a “festooned side last with 17 buttons,” a Bolivian silver and leather platform sandal with a fish clasp from the early 20th century, and an American pump made from silk with rhinestone straps from the mid-1920s.

The backstory
Mustafaev at the start labored coping with a systematic convention and then took a task at an exhibition organization earlier than operating with an Eastern European shoe trade truthful. While this sparked his interest in footwear, there was not anything written approximately footwear at the time in Russia. He commenced shopping for books in English, hoping to in the end write one in Russian. “My concept was to present operators of the newly set up shoe marketplace in Russia a few insight into the records of footwear, introduce them to famous designers and style trends,” he writes. Unable to find many pics of vintage footwear, he subsequently began constructing his personal collection.

So, just how big is the collection?
Mustafaev has 2,500 pairs—plus around 300 shoe buckles and 250 button hooks. He collects historic add-ons to go together with the shoes, too, like classified ads, stamps, cards, and catalogs.

Some footwear is vintage—as in, very old.

Mustafaev divides his shoes into classes: “civil” and “ethnic.” Civil shoes coincide with style and industrial history and precise time durations, while ethnic footwear pertains to the traditions of a subculture. His oldest pair of civil footwear hails from the 1690s to 1710s, while his oldest ethnic shoes hail from the seventeenth century. One interesting tidbit: “[Ethnic shoes] might appearance almost the equal whether or not made three hundred years in the past or within the closing century.”

Where does the shoe hunt begin?
He sources from live auctions, virtual auctions, and flea markets in Paris and London.

His most exciting discover became on eBay.
While surfing the platform, Mustafaev located two pairs of footwear from the Nineteen Twenties after their material, which reminded him of Venice, caught his interest. “I bought them for quite a modest charge,” he adds. When he obtained them, he inspected the only and noticed the museum accession numbers. Several years later, he saw the shoe in a comparable sample within the Metropolitan Museum of Art Calendar. It changed into designed by way of Parisian shoemaker Pietro Yantorny (1874–1936), who, consistent with the Met, became the self-proclaimed “most pricey shoemaker within the world.” He ultimately obtained a letter from a conservator of the Met who confirmed it became indeed a shoe by using Yantorny.

It’s tough identifying which technology is his favorite.
Mustafaev loves all of his shoes similarly: “Actually, footwear are like children—you can’t love some of them.” Nonetheless, he does have an affinity for the Nineteen Twenties, noting that this becomes the era that the footwear “got here to the vanguard of the fashion scene” and while shoe designers commenced setting developments. Art Deco footwear seems to be a fave of his lovers. “They nonetheless excite popular admiration in the course of exhibitions with gold and silver leathers blended with red and black with rich brocades and lamé, jeweled celluloid heels, buttons, and buckles,” he says.

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