Explore the History of
St. Louis's Fashion and Shoe Industry

St. Louis’s association with footwear and clothing production dates to its founding in 1764 as a fur-trading village. With hundreds of historic images, this 224-page hardcover pictorial tells the story of the birth, growth, decline, and rebirth of the footwear and garment industries in St. Louis, Missouri. Colorfully weaving factual narrative and local lore, author Valerie Battle Kienzle leads readers on a fascinating journey through the Gateway City’s lengthy and impressive fashion history.

Available Now!


Hardcover Pictorial

Valerie Battle Kienzle spent 35+ years employed in various writing-related positions—newspaper reporter, corporate public affairs manager, advertising account representative, school district communications writer, and freelance writer. She is the author of What’s with St. Louis?, St. Charles, and Columbia.

The Saint Louis Fashion Fund (SLFF) was founded in 2014 as a nonprofit organization that supports emerging designers and promotes fashion education and outreach. Originally located on Washington Avenue in the heart of St. Louis’s historic Garment District, SLFF has become a fashion hub and voice that has worked to reclaim St. Louis’s roots as a fashion epicenter.