Mary Jane was originally a character in a 1902 American comic strip devised by Richard Felton Outcault and Mary Jane’s popularity in the comic was enough to have a shoe named after her. The comic strip publisher headed to the St Louis World’s Fair in 1904, licensed the name to over 200 users including the Brown Shoe Company and the Mary Jane Shoe became a protected design. The shoe with its distinctive one bar strap became popular in the 1920’s with the “flappers” by which time it was no longer a trademarked design.
Subcultural re-appropriation found the Mary Jane a willing participant in new movements and in the 1990s and 2000s it won popularity as a subculture shoe being worn by Rockabillies, Goths and the adherents to the Kinderwhore and Lolita trends. For Underground, the Mary Jane is fused to the bold silhouette soles of the Original Creeper to create another subculture classic.