Raymond Massaro, Designer Behind Chanel’s Signature Slingback Heels, Dead at 90

Couture shoemaker Raymond Massaro, the designer behind Chanel’s iconic beige and black slingback heels, is dead at 90, according to France’s Conseil National du Cuir, an industry association of leather-makers.

Born into the shoemaking business in 1929, Massaro earned his shoemaking diploma in 1947, specializing in Louis XV-era shoes for women, before becoming an apprentice in his father’s namesake house on 2 Rue de la Paix, which had been established in 1894.

A figure in the French luxury fashion industry, Massaro was best known for the beige and black slingback heel he designed in 1957 for Coco Chanel, as well as an elastic ballerina shoe devised for Madame Grès, which gained an international profile when it was worn by Brigitte Bardot in the ’50s.

In addition to working with Chanel and Madame Grès, over the years, Massaro worked with leading Paris couture houses and designers including John Galliano, Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld, Thierry Mugler and Azzedine Alaïa. The shoemaker sold his business to Chanel in 2007.

A service will be held for Massaro on April 11 at the Notre Dame de Lorette Church in Paris at 10:30 a.m.

This story was reported by WWD and originally appeared on WWD.com.

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