Maroon and cream leather basketweave women's shoe was one of Stanio Fancoff's shoe samples. It would have been shown to prospective purchasers as an example of Stanio's stock of shoes which were made at his shoemaking business in Fitzroy by himself and his family.

Stanio Ivanoff Fancoff was born in 1908 in Bojentsi, a small village in Bulgaria. At age 11, Stanio left home to learn the shoemaking trade. In 1929, he immigrated to Melbourne, settled in Fitzroy and began to work for the V.G. Zemancheff & Sons basket shoe factory in South Melbourne. In 1936, he married Dorotea Georgi Touzou who had recently arrived in Australia. Around this time, Stanio set up his own shoemaking business from home, with Georgi, her cousin and sister weaving the shoes which he then assembled. Selected shoe samples were then taken to Sydney and Tasmania for sale. In 1942, Georgi and Stanio moved to Broken Hill for Georgi's health; daughter Nancy was born there and Stanio set up a shoe shop/factory. In 1945, Georgi died and by 1950 Stanio and Nancy had moved to Adelaide where he again opened a shoemaking business and shop. He passed away in 1978, having been in the shoemaking business for 59 years.

Physical Description

Right foot, low heeled, female dress shoe of maroon and cream leather basketweave. Enclosed shoe, slightly rounded shape toe with cross strap and plain buckle fastener on right side. Lower back shoe section and toe cap are woven in a checkered pattern, the top portions appear as two rows of vertical stripes, while a unique pattern embellishes the vamp's central area and the top line and cross strap is in unwoven maroon leather. Complete with a neutral coloured quartier and leather insole lining. Neutral coloured leather sole is inscribed and stamped on base, the heel is 4cm height and depth with three tacks connecting heel to sole. Leather wraps around heel, joining at heel breast centre.


This collection is significant in documenting a small migrant business as well as the fashion of a particular period. It is well provenanced and charts the application of trade skills in a new country. It also illustrates the stages of hand shoe manufacture from the 1930s, demonstrating the enduring nature of the tools and patterns that were used.

More Information