What is a Mary Jane? Another name is bar shoe, a single strap across the top of the foot which dates back 120 years. The name comes from the shoes worn by Mary Jane, a character from the Buster Brown comic strip (drawn by R F Outcault) which appeared in the New York Herald in 1902. Little girls everywhere clamoured for them, and until the late Fifties they were a must-have style for both boys and girls.
The Twenties saw Mary Janes become synonymous with the Charleston. The bar shoes worn for dancing in the Twenties were often highly decorated, silk satin, with beading and embellishments to match those fabulous flapper dresses.
In the Sixties Mary Quant put childlike Twiggy into black tap shoes and a smock, taking Mary Jane back to her roots, and bringing the "little girl" look on to the catwalk.
Not many designers can resist the lure of a Mary Jane, they can be cute or sexy as shown by Yves Saint Laurent, Dior and Christian Louboutin who have featured elegant bar shoes in their collections, often in patent leather.
But back to Ruby Shoo. The Mary Jane has been a staple since the fist collection back in 2011. The style is supportive of the foot, allowing you to wear a higher heel without having to claw the toes to keep them on. I have so many people say that they can only wear a shoe with a strap and before Ruby Shoo no brands really seemed to cater for this in the occasionware bracket. The cocktail of colours since then has been endless.
For those seeking out this style here is a list of the names I have put them the year they first appeared, lots of the styles have been done in different seasons in different colours
2011 Bardot, Streep, Crawford, Garbot
2012 Grace, Bancroft, Minelli, O'Hara
2013 Charlize, Keira
2014 Alice, Elisha, Megan, Rachel
2015 Belle, Anna, Erin, Piper, Poppy, Ashley, Bridget
2016 Cindy, Emily, Elsy, Dee
2017 Yasmin, Amelia, Mia, Tanya, Annabel
2018 Maria, Madelaine, Cassandra, Silvia, Phoebe, Hannah, Cordelia
2019 Cleo, Crystal