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  • The Flower Power Era

    Long hair, beards, flowers in the hair, sandals, long loose-fitting tunics and peace demonstrations. It is the end of the 1960s and fashion has suddenly discovered colour and freedom of style. The “Swinging Sixties” are a celebration of freedom after centuries of restrictions.

    The young baby-boomer generation wants to set itself apart from the adult world. They set about creating a true counter-culture and choose clothing as a way to express themselves and their convictions. Original and revolutionary apparel is making its appearance, with flared pants, vivid colours, psychedelic prints, frilled shirts and men’s jewellery.

    Jeans and other cotton clothing, embroidered Afghan sheepskin jackets, leather accessories and Indian scarves are adding ethnic interest to the wardrobe. Batik T-shirts are becoming all the rage.

    Men are decking themselves out in flamboyant Italian suits, floral shirts, hippy furs and loose-fitting caftans. Others are wearing ultra-short raincoats and “pork-pie” hats. Men’s jackets are being replaced by high-collar tunics, with which ties can no longer be worn. Young girls are starting to wear trousers.

    Miniskirts and mini-dresses, symbols of this liberation, are the invention that will really leave their mark on the decade. Plain, sober and futuristic, they are worn with pantyhose and boots or with knee-length socks and strapped shoes.


    Chaussures DeLuca opens for business. Its sole proprietor, Mr. DeLuca, a shoemaker of Italian origin, specializes in crafting moccasins and San Crispino shoes (a style imported directly from Italy). He produces a limited number of very classic models in his humble workshop. Mr. DeLuca is the only person in Québec making San Crispino-style shoes, which are already very fashionable in Europe and now gaining in popularity over here. The company is located on 18th Avenue (Jarry).

  • The Disco Years

    Bell bottoms, platform shoes, polyester shirts in flashy colours, Lycra leotards, strappy tops, high-cut shorts, lacy shirts, lamé jeans, cheap, synthetic-silk summer dresses from the 1940s, long floral maxi “granny” dresses, satin pants, high heels and white disco suits: 1970 heralds the beginning of the disco decade, epitomized by stroboscopes, Saturday Night Fever and the Bee Gees.

    This period is anything but peaceful. There are a number of world political upheavals. Sexual liberation, conscientious objection and women’s rights are supported by the majority.

    The seventies are post-modernist years; their electric style brings about a true fashion revolution. Nylon, acrylic and, of course, polyester, are the fabrics characterizing this decade. Unisex clothing is very popular and the trend is for straight, tight-fitting clothes.

    “Untrendiness” is the keyword of this era: you can wear anything you like as long as it doesn’t look conformist. Nothing is too short, too bad, too colourful or too garish. It isn’t easy to personalize your wardrobe with such a mixture of different elements, so if in doubt you wear jeans, which have become the uniform of the non-conformists. Everyone has a pair of jeans, which are faded, no longer embroidered or patched as in the '60s. Hats are made of straw, crocheted wool or corduroy.

    Men are wearing frilled shirts, narrow-legged silk jersey Italian pants, black turtlenecks, leather coats and platform boots. Ironically, the kitsch sequins so fashionable in the discos during this decade are to regain popularity just before the end of the century.

    Miniskirts and platform boots are an integral part of the seventies.

    Early 1970s

    The Québec shoe industry is booming. There are around a hundred shoe manufacturers in business..


    Chaussures DeLuca moves to Berri Street. To meet fashion demands, Mr. DeLuca starts to produce Patof shoes. Around fifty employees work on the production of the various models.


    On January 17, Vincenzo Passarelli joins the Chaussures DeLuca team. Also of Italian origin, and a shoemaker by trade since the age of 12, Mr. Passarelli has already worked for several other shoe manufacturers. He starts work on the assembly line before later becoming assembly line manager and then foreman.

  • Conspicuous Consumption

    Tailored suits, dinner jackets worn with pastel T-shirts, fitness apparel and cowboy boots: in the 1980s, there’s money to be made and money to be spent. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you look good doing it.

    A yuppie can now wear a suit and tie without worrying that he looks like his father. Double-breasted designer suits are de rigueur.

    Professional women are wearing suits tailored at the waist with wide-shouldered jackets, short straight skirts and elegant blouses. Pant suits are becoming standard office attire for women managers. It is a kind of retaliation against the anti-prosperity rhetoric of the hippies—now you have the right to earn money, be well-dressed and not care about politics.

    Dresses are bordering on the delirious, with bubble skirts, puff sleeves and shiny fabrics in bright colours. Men and women alike are joining the body-building and aerobics craze. Women are walking down the street in bodies and tight leggings. And no mention of the Eighties would be complete without Madonna, Michael Jackson, and the popular TV series Dallas and Dynasty.

    Youth culture belongs to the blacks. Black electronic music, hip-hop, rap and house dominate this period. With break-dancing comes the arrival of comfy sportswear, sneakers and baseball caps.

    Fashion influences from the Far East provide striking contrast with the designs of the West. The most original ideas come from Japan.


    Chaussures DeLuca moves to de Castelnau Street.

    By the end of the 1970s, it has become easier to import San Crispino shoes from Italy, which is much less expensive than making them. The shoe market has evolved; Mr. DeLuca reacts to these developments by starting to manufacture winter boots for the Québec market.

    Early 1980's

    Cowboy boots are introduced on the market.


    A new line of suede winter boots is launched: the Grasso range of water-repellent boots made from treated nubuck.


    The Secco range of water-repellent leather boots is launched. The leather used in this range is shinier, thicker and more refined.


    The Anfibio line is launched. These are totally waterproof leather boots, the result of a unique treatment which permanently binds chemical substances to each of the fibres.

    At this time, boots are often said to be water-resistant but never before has a manufacturer called them waterproof. The assembly and insulation of Anfibio boots are designed in such a way as to preserve this waterproof quality.

    Relying on its now well-established reputation, Chaussures DeLuca commits itself to producing shoes and boots in non-standard sizes and widths. Top quality Anfibio boots are the only styles available up to size 16.

    Some Americans living in colder states start to show an interest in DeLuca winter boots. An agreement is signed with L.L. Bean, among others, for the distribution of boots in the United States.

    End of the 1980's

    DeLuca stops making moccasins, one of its benchmark products. The production of shoes is stopped altogether.

  • Spoilt for Choice

    Classic blazers, suits and trouser suits, straight skirts and turtleneck pullovers: the extravagance of the 1980s gives way to the moderation of the 1990s.

    A huge variety of styles is now available. Grunge, hip-hop, Birkenstock, retro or Chanel—the possibilities are endless. There is a style, colour and price to suit everyone. People are continuing to spend as they did in the 1980s, but now they do so with concern for true value and meaning.

    Borders are gradually being broken down. Communist regimes are being dismantled. Technology is starting to creep into people’s daily lives. Lower consumer spending, record unemployment and the economic slump mean that women as well as men are starting to be content with basic clothing that is both modern and timeless.

    Minimalism is leading to an exodus of accessories from the fashion scene. Jewellery is becoming almost inexistent. Hairstyles and make-up are kept discreet. Nineties women are sporting designer-label handbags, sunglasses and shoes. This minimalist fashion is strict by day and expressionist by night.

    Towards the end of the decade, luxury does not necessarily have a label and is denoted rather by creativity and rarity.

    This decade also sees the appearance of “schoolgirl” fashion: satin miniskirts, short tops, dainty florals, and first-communion socks and shoes all make a comeback.


    Anfibio orthopaedic boots are introduced—their increased depth can accommodate shoe inserts.


    Passarelli Family & Associates purchases 75 percent of the shares in Chaussures DeLuca. Vincenzo Passarelli has now been with the company for close to 20 years.

    Members of Vincenzo’s family, Pina Passarelli and her husband, Franco Rota, join the team.


    A new style is introduced for Anfibio boots with a zipper on the side and laces on the upper. This innovative model is designed specifically for the men’s range.


    Passarelli Family & Associates becomes full owner of Chaussures DeLuca. The various family members play an increasingly active role in the company’s operations.


    The mid-range Secco line is re-launched as the Beluga line.

    The first artisan-style boots in the Anfibio range are produced. With this launch, the company sets itself the mission of continually offering superior quality. The boots, which are unique in Canada, are decorated with scenes representing typical Canadian landscapes or Amerindian culture.

    The Anfibio Sélect range is introduced—wool-lined boots for men, extremely warm and durable, and available in four or five styles. Following this, the Anfibio Sélect line for women is launched. At this time, women’s boots account for 50 percent of Chaussures DeLuca’s market share.


    In response to fashion demands, Chaussures DeLuca makes its first high-heeled and long winter boots for women, with the same qualities of waterproofing, warmth and comfort that have come to be identified with the Anfibio name.

  • History Revisited

    Victorian-style boots, '20s baggy pants, '40s casual shirts, '70s platform heels and '90s monogram trends: there’s something for everyone in the new millennium.

    Even though it is still too early to define this decade, the quest for individual style that began in the 1990s is continuing through a fusion of the best styles from previous decades. The need for individual protection and freedom is being met by the development of casual sports attire made from hi-tech materials.

    New textiles are being developed using the latest scientific and technological processes. Among these 20th century inventions are microfibre, microcapsules, sophisticated composite materials, intelligent materials, and fabrics with ceramic fibres or steel coatings. It is now possible to make clothes with integrated digital circuits and ecological materials. New textiles are pleasant to touch, comfortable to wear and environmentally friendly.

    There is great potential in the 21st century for developing these new, high-quality textiles which are capable of reacting to and evolving in the framework of an increased desire for comfort and a resolutely contemporary concept of fashion and beauty.


    At the start of the 2000s, consumers are making comfort a priority. The Piuma men’s range is launched.

    New “fashion” styles are added to the classic models already on the market. Retailers now have the option of changing soles, shapes and linings to produce boots in line with their tastes. Neither of the other two manufacturers still in operation offers this option, which is one of DeLuca’s strengths. It is out of the question for the company to increase production volume and thereby standardize its production to the detriment of quality.


    Chaussures DeLuca purchases a building on Saint-Michel Street in Montréal-Nord.


    The company acquires the trademark Contoura—boots distributed in Canada and exclusively designed for mature women looking for superior comfort. Sales of women’s boots now outnumber those of men’s. Their style is simple and sophisticated.


    De Luca launches their new Web site worldwide. Customers can now take a peak at our outstanding collection and take advantage of a pair of the finest Waterproof Leather boots.

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