As early as 1890, Milanese company Pirelli – founded in 1872 – started to manufacture what it marketed as “elastic rubber specialties for footwear”.
In other words, it made shoe soles (with diamond shaped patterns, with grooves, or smooth) and heels (black, white and red, in a range of interesting models) .
To announce to the world its footwear accessories, including the creative “Tacco Stella”, Pirelli used advertisement posters by noted illustrators such as Giuseppe Cappadonia, Mario Giangaspare Bazzi, and Silvio Bagni.
Pirelli products pop up even in Giovanni Guareschi’s work: “Once upon a time there was this road”, the Emilian writer stated in a short story from 1944, “The Road”, “and it was a long corridor, with houses and towns peaking out along its sides. Between one house and the other, and between one town and the other, it was all a chatter of large red, yellow, white, and blue posters: Visit the Trade Fair! Eat Panettone Motta! Order Vermouth Cinzano! Believe, obey, fight! Use Pirelli soles!”
Unknown, "Pirelli Heels", 1921-1922, tempera on paper
Giuseppe Cappadonia, "... I'm the best rubber heel by Pirelli & C.", 1919, graphite and tempera on paper mounted on cardboard
Silvio Bagni, "Pirelli Heel", 1921, tempera on paper
Giorgio Dabovich, "Pirelli rubber heels", 1931-1939, tempera on paper with filigree
Unknown, "Pirelli Star Heels", 1920, china ink and watercolor on paper mounted on cardboard
Adolfo Busi, sketch for Pirelli rubber heels advertisement, 1920-1921, tempera on paper
A. Schiavon, "Pirelli", 1920-1925, tempera and collage on paper
Francesco Del Pozzo, "Walking I fly towards the sun, wearing Pirelli's heels and soles", 1925, tempera on paper
Aldo De Luca, "Pirelli & C. Rubber Heels", 1915-1920, china ink on paper with filigree
Unknown, "Pirelli Heel", 1920, tempera and china ink on paper mounted on cardboard
Unknown, "Pirelli Rubber Heel. Elasticity Solidity Elegance", 1920, watercolor on paper with filigree
Gian Piero Rastellini, "Pirelli soles and heel", 1920-1925, graphite, tempera and colored china inks on cardboard
Gian Piero Restellini, Sketch for a Pirelli soles advertisement, 1920-1925, tempera on paper mounted on cardboard
Adolfo Busi, "Pirelli soles", 1920-1925, tempera on paper