Joan Evelyn Marshall
October 10, 1926
|Died||May 8, 2016 (aged 89)|
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
|Known for||Joan & David Shoes|
Joan Evelyn Helpern (née Marshall; October 10, 1926 – May 8, 2016) was an American shoe designer. She was the creative partner in the company Joan & David Shoes, with her husband, David Helpern.
Joan Evelyn Marshall was born on October 10, 1926 in the Bronx. She attended and graduated from Hunter College in Manhattan, majoring in economics, psychology and English. She earned a master's degree in social psychology from Columbia University and a doctorate in psychology from Harvard University.
Joan and David Helpern married in 1960. Joan Helpern was studying at Harvard, and later became a child psychologist in the New York City school system. David Helpern worked in his family's clothing stores. After becoming acquainted with the offerings in women's shoes through her husband's business, she began a second career designing shoes. She worked first for a small Boston shoe company and also consulted with other shoe manufacturers.
Joan & David
In 1967 Halpern and her husband decided to start their own shoe company. They specialized in high-fashion women's shoes, although their line also included handbags and other accessories. While the standard for a women's shoe was the high heel, Helpern stated that she was designing shoes for women who "run through airports". Their first pair of shoes were blue and white oxfords.
Joan Helpern died in Manhattan on May 8, 2016. David Helpern had died in 2012.
- Roberts, Sam (May 11, 2016). "Joan Helpern, 89, the Creative Partner in the Company Joan & David Shows". New York Times.
- Vitello, Paul (June 9, 2012). "David M. Helpern, Chief of Joan & David Apparel Brand, Dies at 94". New York Times. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
- Grumhaus, Audrey D. (March 22, 1987). "CAN A LOW-PRICED DOLLAR KILL A HIGH-PRICED SHOE?". New York Times. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
- Cunningham, Erin. "You Can Thank This Woman For Comfortable Shoes". Refinery 29. Retrieved 11 May 2016.