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Marta Innocenti Ciulli

May 10, 2020

Salvatore Ferragamo. Elegance as emotion

Un'icona di stile ed eleganza, un simbolo della moda fiorentina internazionale. A lui è dedicato il nostro terzo speciale sui marchi che hanno fatto grande la moda italiana

The palace we find at the end of Via de' Tornabuoni before arriving at the bridge at Santa Trinita is Palazzo Spini Feroni, an austere building dating back to the end of the 1200s. But in Florence it is known as Palazzo Ferragamo.


The story of Salvatore Ferragamo, the most famous shoemaker in the world, is a great pride for Florence. A bit of a merchant and a bit of a pioneer, Salvatore Ferragamo was one of those Italians who could be defined as "poet-globetrotter" where the poems were beautiful shoes. He left that Italy of 1915 to go to America and cultivate his passion.


In Santa Barbara he opened a shoe repair shop and made to measure and began collaborating with the world of cinema and the directors of the time. Soon the press called him "shoemakers and shoedesigner" and dedicated him to the realm of myth.

issue n.26 - S/S 2013 - PH. Ruggero Lupo Mengoni

But Ferragamo also won for the particular comfort he was able to give his models, he studied the anatomy of the foot and patented, to support the arch of the foot, the system of steel foils to be incorporated into the sole. His fame and ambition brought him back to Italy and where, if not in Florence, land of artisans with golden hands, he opened his first workshop.

n.35 - A/W 2015-16 - ph. Alessandro Bencini

He doesn't lose heart with the crisis of '29, the characters of the time, the great ladies want his shoes, they come from Paris, New York and London. Autarchy with the lack of materials sets his wits in motion, he uses crocodile and lizard skins, creates the most extraordinary shoe of the century, the wedge with cork heel: it will remain the symbol of the Forties.

n.35 - A/W 2015-16 - ph. Alessandro Bencini

In '38 he bought in installments that Palazzo Spini Feroni, which is still the company's headquarters today. In the Forties he married Wanda Miletti, a young woman from his hometown. When Ferragamo died in 1960, the brand's international fame did not suffer any downturns and instead inaugurated a new season thanks to his wife Wanda and his six children, all working at the highest levels of the company. From shoes and bags in the seventies to the total look, the fashion catwalks, the development of men's lines, perfumes and eyewear, all always in the name of great craftsmanship.

issue n.42 - S/S 2017 - ph. sara mautone

After a small collaboration with the creative Marc Audibet, the young Massimiliano Giornetti, a made in Ferragamo, arrives with studies at Polimoda. The company keeps an eye on him for his obsessive attention to detail, for his ability to respect the history and spirit of the brand in order to blend his personal vision of fashion with the needs of the historic maison.

He was chosen to relaunch knitwear, in 2004 he became head of the men's line, in 2010 he was appointed creative director, the first creative director in the history of the company of all the lines, including women and accessories. Giornetti reveals a great ability to interpret the founding values of Ferragamo style, quality and comfort dominate without detracting from his stylistic concept.
He is the target of women who love the object to wear, the well made one, with pure lines, body-conscious volumes and fabrics that know how to last. In February 2019, the company entrusted Paul Andrew's pencil with the creative direction of all the lines, including those for men and women.

Already in the company since 2016 as Design Director footwear, Paul Andrew feels metaphorically invested to take the place of Salvatore Ferragamo. He made his debut with a memorable fashion show in Piazza della Signoria during Pitti Uomo. His vision is a tailor who looks at beautifully crafted sportswear, comfort in support of luxury, the contrast of noble, traditional and technological materials do the rest. His motto: balancing two worlds, looking back to forge an exciting future.


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