Monica D. Murgia

Art, creativity, and fashion
November 13th, 2011 by Monica Murgia

Fred Braun

Fred Braun shoes.

Finding a pair of vintage shoes that have never been worn is an exhilarating experience. Lucky me, a few weeks ago I found a sample pair of olive green Fred Braun shoes in my size.  But the real excitement was that I magically stumbled upon an urban shoe legend.

Fred Braun was a New York based shoe designer during the 1960s & 1970s.  He had several boutiques throughout Manhattan, including: the Village, Lexington Avenue near 50th Street, and 34th Street.  As the shoes became more in demand, they were carried in independent retailers throughout Brooklyn.


The shoes still have a cult following, and there are message boards where devotees reminisce about their favorite styles, and the iconic red and white striped boxes they came in.  Fans explain that the shoes came in specialty sizes, and were beautifully made.  Judging from the pair I found, I absolutely agree.


When Fred Braun died , and the business closed.  The shoes are no longer produced, but sometimes pairs resurface on the vintage market.  Sources say Cobblestones, a vintage store in the East Village, often has pairs.  Or you might just find them at your local flea market.


30 Responses to “Fred Braun”
  1. Some of the BEST shoes that were ever made, that lasted for ‘several years’, unfortunately they seemed to be fading when it was my turn to buy them (during the late ’70’s’), but I’d LOVE for someone from the family to re-start this business (as I really believe they’d give the high class shoe designers a real run for their money). Thanks for posting this.

  2. Beverly Herring-Victor says

    I recently had a discussion about Fred Braun shoes. These shoes were all the rage in my day. There was a shop on Jamaica Avenue near 165th street that carried these shoes. I remember when they sold for $16 then years later, $32. I remember us not being able to afford them. That was a lot of money in those days. I remember the cool kids in my school that wore Fred Braun shoes. I remember my younger sister buying Fred Braun’s with money earned from her summer job. I was delighted and overjoyed to inherit the hand-me-downs. Those shoes were so well constructed and lasted forever. I can’t believe nobody took over that company. Those shoes were legendary and we still talk about them today. I remember fondly the leather flats with the “triangle” toe that had 3 laces on the side. What I wouldn’t give for a pair today!!!

  3. Hi Beverly!

    I can see what you mean about the construction.  That was what caught my eye.  The shoes are so well crafted, and the leather is really high quality.  I’ve been on the lookout for more Braun  shoes, but haven’t seen any. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for the triangle pair :-)

  4. I loved, loved, loved Fred Braun shoes! I grew up in Spring Valley – just outside the City – and remember going into the Village to the Fred Braun shop and spending my hard-earned cash ($1.65 per hour at Waldbaum’s) on a pair. They were my absolute favorite shoes and I wish I could find another pair. What a beautiful find! Olive pumps…

  5. Hi Linda,

    I was super lucky! When I found them, I knew nothing of Fred Braun. They are fantastic, and in such great shape. Too bad they don’t make the shoes anymore.

  6. Patricia Shelton says

    Wow u are telling my story, I was in college when Ibrought a pair1971. Loved those shoes and yes all the cool kids wore them! I wonder what happened to the brand! $16 was alot in the 60s and 70s! Thanks for the memories!

  7. Janice Morrow says

    I wonder if fred had relatives, that could give more information on his life, where was he born. and if any of his relatives wanted to design shoes.

  8. Janice Morrow says

    one thing for sure we need well made shoes like that again, one pair were called the bunnies, they were popular. the nice part is that all ages could wear them.

  9. Kimberly says

    I would love to find out how I can retrieve pictures of fred braun shoes….I had just about every pair…leather, suede, slip ons, the ones that tied on the side….we use to put horseshoe taps on ours…me and my girlfriends…I would like to know who owns the rights to the shoes being that (fred braun is no longer with us) I would love to reinvent these shoes and sell them….these were the best shoes I ever wore and I know they would be a great seller right now…I’ve searched the internet and I can’t seem to find not one picture of fred braun shoes…can someone help me out here

  10. Kimberly,

    I’m at a loss for this information myself. The pair I found was a complete fluke, and I was so sad they were not my size. It seems like Braun had quite a following, but not sure who owned the final rights to the company after it closed down. Maybe once my schedules slows down, I can do some further investigation. I’ll keep you posted.

  11. Kimberly says

    Thanx for responding Monica…..I would love your help with this….I am so serious about reinventing theses shoes and putting them on the market….there are so many women out there that would definitely buy these shoes….but most of all I need to see a picture of the shoes that I would love to reinvent along with the one that you have posted…please stay in touch with me…I really, really would love to make this happen :)

  12. Beverly Herring-Victor says

    So sad to see no one was able to find further information on Fred Braun shoes. I recall some friends telling us (way back then) there was a Fred Micheals brand that looked exactly like Fred Braun shoes. Anyone know anything about Fred Micheals shoes?

  13. I have a suede navy blue Fred Braun handbag Does anyone know about the value of it?

  14. Hi Toby!

    Not sure about value, but Fred Braun has a strong cult following. I sold my pair of shoes for $50. Could you send me a few photos and Ill give you my opinion? I can even write a post. :)

  15. kimberly lewis says

    Hello Monica,
    It’s Kimberly here….just checking in with you again….any luck with trying to obtain pictures of Fred Braun shoes….I am still interested in trying to reinvent these shoes and sell them….but I truly need pictures…any luck on your end as yet

  16. Yes it is so sad that this manufacturer just fell off the face of the earth, the family to take over the business or anything. My family didn’t have much money do when my grandmother brought new a pair of fred brauns you couldn’t tell me . I loved those shoes and wish someone could make a replica of them. I would definitely buy a pair our two.

  17. Fred Braun did not fall off the face of the earth…he died. No one else could possibly design shoes the way that he did. During my junior and high school Fred Braun was our goto shoe man. Living in Queens we bought shoes from the Glove Shop and Greens. It was always a mad rush to see who would have the flats sandals from Fred Braun’s latest collection. Once in a while we’d hightail it to his shop intheVillage.
    Those were the best shoes, to this day I still buy shoes with leather soles…pricey but so worth it.

  18. KC Braunschweig says

    I found this article looking for more information about Fred Braun the man and his history. There is very little online. I found a newspaper article about his and his shoe company from 1961 among my grandmother’s old pictures. Based on the information in the article and other pictures we have, I believe Fred Braun is an Americanized name and that he was originally Frederick Braunschweig, my grandfather’s brother. The family were all in the leather business (tanners, hide salesmen, shoe distributors) in Germany before fleeing the Nazis. I’d be happy to share the article and pictures I have of him and if you find any more information about him or the company, I’d be interested.

  19. Sijae Jarvis says

    Fred braun’s name recently came up on face book as we talking about growing up in the bronx and shopping on 149th street and 3rd ave .Well his name and quality of shoes started up a frenzy in finding his leather flats!!! I pray that we all find his shoes again

  20. Doris Dunn-Martin says

    The brown saddle leather flats the slip on Clark My parents started shopping at the store for me at 13.

  21. Funny! I just posted on FB if anyone remembered these shoes. And you answered my question, whatever happened to them. Thanks for sharing!

  22. I remember going to the village in NY just to look in the window at how well made these shoes were. In the summer of 1968 I got a summer job just so I could buy my first pair. Those shoes lasted and lasted for years. One of the best purchases I ever made.

  23. looklifeandtimes says

    I bought my men’s shoes, as I recall, I had two different styles of shoes. I Was in the Navy and I traveld the country, took them with me to Vietnam and wore them in Hong Kong on my five days of R&R.

    The supple leather, the seemingly ergonomic design rather than obstentatious fad or design.

    I am 66 years old, and here I am finding myself googling Fred Braun shoes. Just hoping and dreaming that from somewhere there will appear a shoe shop stocking these wonderful shoes.

    I am a native New Yorker and I bought my Fred Braun shoes in Greenwich Village.

    Those were the days…

  24. Gilda Bain says

    During 1963-66 I attended Andrew Jackson High School in Queens. If you were ‘super fly’ you wore Fred Braun shoes to school and sandals during the summer. We either shopped at The Glove Shop, Greens or went to the Village to get the best shoes ever made. I wish they were still around. Does anyone remember a leather shop in the Village called Seasoned Traveller..they made great bags..miss them too. Thanks for posting the previous comments and bringing back memories of how “fly” I was in my youth LOL.

  25. Gilda Bain says

    P.S… never wore any heels…just remember the flats..Clarks and Gillies, plus sandals.

  26. The Fred Braun flats had the softest leather and molded to your feet. They were a real hippie shoe in the 60s. I loved the brown leather, and it was fun shopping in the Village store. I had a few pair and I loved them.

  27. Fred Braun shoes were THE shoe in New Rochelle (both Junior High and High School) when I attended in the late 60s and early 70s. I saved babysitting money to buy two-tone brown flats through high school. By the time I went to college in the mid to late 70s, Braun was doing high crepe-platform wedges. I had a wonderful pair that were blue and maroon with black wedge heels. They looked GREAT with straight-leg Levi 501s with a cuff and were super-comfortable and high-quality, as everyone has commented here.

  28. Yvonne Chisolm says

    I was so suprise to find this blog. Fred Braun! Are you kidding me? When I was a teen in the late sixties, if you were able to get a pair of Fred Braun shoes you were in with the popular. Wow this really take me back!

  29. Don’t know what possesed me to Google Fred Braun and was so surprised to find this blog. Brings back some very fond memories. My father turned me onto FB in the 60’s. We shopped in the Village. Loved my brown sandals. They molded to my feet like a glove. Hated to part with them after sooo many years. Still mourning their loss, but I still have my purse. Don’t care what it’s worth…to me it’s priceless. I’m willing that purse to to my grandaughter!

  30. Hi Robin – I’d love to see a photograph of the purse, if you have one!

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