Last week Minneapolis luxury shoe designer Marion Parke was invited to attend the presentation of Dr. Biden’s inaugural attire to the National Museum of American History at The Smithsonian, as part of its First Lady’s Collection. The exhibit showcases the First Ladies’ inaugural clothing and accessories—shoes, jewelry, evening bags, and for Dr. Biden, coordinating face masks—and celebrates the designers of the looks dating back as far as 1912.
Dr. Biden’s been repeatedly spotted—and photographed—rocking the podiatrist-turned-fashion designer’s pumps, including the best-selling classic pump in several colorways, as well as a now discontinued style— the “Mina.”
“It is truly an honor and I never could have imagined that my shoes would one day be worn by The First Lady of the United States.” says Parke, who believes women don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style when it comes to selecting footwear.
According to the designer, who works with the same factory as other respected luxury brands Jimmy Choo, Miu Miu, and Isabel Marant, she still very much considers her namesake company (which she launched in 2016) a start up. “To be given such meaningful visibility while we are working to grow our business is a tremendous gift,” says Parke.
Other designers in attendance included Gabriela Hearst and Alexandra O’Neil, (who designed and produced the attire that was presented and installed in the museum), fine jewelry designers Briony Raymond and Jennifer Fisher, milliner Gigi Burris, and contemporary ready-to-wear designer Tanya Taylor.
“One of the many positive ways a First Lady can use her platform is to support American brands and female-founded businesses,” says Parke. “On some level, it felt like witnessing history.”