Schwartz & Benjamin Milestone: Standout Sellers

Danny and Barbara Schwartz reveal the five styles that made the biggest difference over the company’s 90-year history.

Customcraft Cloud 7
introduced in the early 1960s

“That was an elasticized top-line pump,” said Danny Schwartz. “The significance of that shoe was that it fit quite well. It was a pump that we did on all different heel heights, in all different toe shapes, in any material you could think of. The elasticized top line really made it fit snug to the foot, and that was the key. One foot is different than another. This top line allowed your feet to fit equally well [in each shoe]. It also had a nice look to it once it was on the foot.”

Anne Klein Caramia
introduced in the late 1970s

“That was designed with Donna Karan,” said Danny. “Donna is a tall gal and she was looking for a chic flat. She really invented the chic flat with a little heel and a tapered toe. We sold thousands and thousands of those. And it wasn’t just tall gals wearing it. She made it into a fashion statement.”

Anne Klein Snake Moc
introduced in the early 1980s

“It was kind of a classic moccasin in whipsnake [leather],” Danny said. “Everybody was buying it from us. It was a style that lasted several years.”

Kate Spade Karolina
introduced in 2005

“The Karolina was a game changer because it stood for an identity, became a classic and looked great in every fabrication, heel and treatment we gave it,” said Barbara Schwartz. “It’s timeless. The Kate Spade company, as they grew, really embraced this in their stores as a signature item. They showed the consumer it was right.”

Customcraft Une
introduced in the early 1970s

“It was a sandal. It was our best-selling shoe at Neiman Marcus at that time, and they gave us a plaque when they sold 15,000 pairs [in 1972]. It was a two-banded sandal. It had great fitting qualities. It was broad in the toe and had a substantial heel, yet a woman could look very fashionable in it.” — Danny Schwartz