Rayne, Edward

Rayne, Edward Exhibits
 
 

The family firm H&M Rayne was founded by Edwards grandparents in 1889. At the turn of the century, Rayne made shoes primarily for the theatre, counting many actresses among its customers. In 1920, to provide fashionable shoes for a non-theatrical clientele, they opened a shop on London\'s Bond Street, which became highly successful.

Edward Rayne was born in London in 1922. He joined the family firm in 1940 and served a lengthy apprenticeship in the factory of his familys firm, H&M Rayne, learning all about the complexities of making shoes. In 1951, at the age of 29, following the death of his father, Rayne became managing director of the business, which had been founded by his grandparents in 1889.

Initially H&M Rayne made shoes primarily for the theatre, counting many actresses among its customers. In 1920, to provide fashionable shoes for a non-theatrical clientele, they opened a shop on London\'s Bond Street, which became highly successful.

Under Edward Raynes direction the company with three royal warrants grew into an international concern, with licensing deals with American department stores Bonwit Teller and Bergdorf Goodman. The firm had been associated with Delman Shoes in the USA but in 1961 it was acquired by Debenhams, a large British department store.

In 1960 Rayne was appointed chairman of the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers; later, when it became the British Fashion Council, he became its president for five years. Awarded a CVO in 1977 and knighted in 1988, Sir Edward was instrumental in putting British fashion back on course, and for generating international interest. Jean Muir called him, the best British shoemaker of his age.

Granted the Royal Warrant by the Queen Mother, Rayne designed the ivory silk shoes embroidered with seed pearls for Princess Elizabeth to wear at her wedding in 1947. H&M Rayne were the Queen Mother\'s shoe makers and made her shoes with six inch heels and platform soles. She preferred white shoes in calf or suede. One of the most famous shoe models from 1950s has a design similar to the Wedgwood china pattern, which is traditionally British. Company connections with the artistic world continued and Rayne was the maker of the shoes for Diana Rigg, starring in The Avengers - airing in Great Britain from 1961 through 1969, and comprising 161 episodes, it became one of the most popular television series of all time, eventually reaching audiences in 120 countries,

Rayne shoes are now known worldwide and have extensive outlets in the UK and USA. Edward Rayne has worked with couturiers such as Amies, Norman Hartnell, Cavanach and Jean Muir, and also for Roger Vivier the shoe designer. The firm also made shoes for the house Dior.

Edward Rayne was knighted in 1988 and became Sir Edward Rayne. He died in 1992 although his house continues.

Exhibits

 


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