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5 things to know about Salvatore Ferragamo

Salvatore Ferragamo is an Italian fashion designer that pioneered women’s footwear into what it is today. Regarded as one of the most refined fashion houses, it is rich with heritage and design excellence. Worn by Audrey Hepburn to The Duchess of Cambridge, the fashion house has always specialised in the finest craftsmanship and advanced technology. Today, it is one of the last remaining family-owned fashion houses, nearly 120 years old. If you have any luxury fashion nous, here are the 5 things you should know about Salvatore Ferragamo
salvatore ferragamo

The Rise of Salavtore Ferragamo 

Born in 1898, Salvatore Ferragamo was from a farming family in Bonito Italy and was number 11 of 14 children. His passion for shoes developed from a young age as he studied the local shoemaker. His father disapproved but at the early age of 9, Ferragamo made his sister a white pair of shoes the night before her first holy communion. At the age of 11, he went to Naples to study the art of shoemaking before returning to Bonito to open up his first shop. At 17 he emigrated to Santa Barbara, California convincing three of his brothers to join him. Ferragamo set out to make his shoes as comfortable as they were attractive. He attended the Extension Division of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles where he studied anatomy. He studied how the arch of your foot supports the weight of your body, developing his designs to support the foot arch. 
salvatore ferragamo
Ferragamo first rose to fame when he crafted the ultimate cowboy boot for the serial film The Diamond from the Sky. California at the time was the city of dreams and cinema. He started to design shoes for well-known movie stars, opening a store with customers such as Lottie and Mary Pickford. In 1927, Ferragamo moved back to Florence, Italy. Here he expanded production, with 700 professional artisans who manufactured more than 340 pairs of handmade footwear a day. Ferragamo was in fact one of the most innovative shoe designers, experimenting with materials such as crocodile skin. 

Salvatore Ferragamo’s Most Recognised Designs 

Through the war, Ferragamo was pushed to trail new materials due to limitations on resources. One of his most well-known inventions is the cork-wedged heel, becoming instantly popular for its appearance and comfort. 

Furthermore, Ferragamo went on to invent the Stiletto heel. Designed for Marilyn Monroe, he crafted a beautiful shoe made from alligator skin. He also created the ‘Invisible Sandal’ for which he received the Neiman Markus Award. It had a gold wedged heel with clear sandal straps, extremely glamorous in its aesthetic. 

Salvatore Ferragamo

Mrs Ferragamo 

Salvatore Ferragamo married Wanda Miletti on November 9, 1940. 24 years her senior, they fell in love instantly when he asked her to demonstrate a pair of shoes, noting in his memoir ‘she had one toe peeping out her stocking’. They had 6 children together. After his death in 1960, his wife took over the helm of his company. She expanded their range into other luxury goods and by 1981 the company was making 60,000 pairs of shoes a month. Mrs Ferragamo emphasised the importance of keeping the company in the family. His daughters Fiamma and Giovanna later joined the family business, with Fiamma taking the creative lead. Fiamma went on to design the Vara pumps, a rounded, elegant pump with a flat bow on the front. The shoe still to this day remains one of their best-selling styles. 
When my husband died his dream was a House of Ferragamo where you could buy shoes and everything else for elegant dressing, so little by little, we followed that dream.
Mrs Ferragamo - The New York Times 1981 

Today Mrs Ferragamo’s son Ferruccio is the president and chairman. Her daughter Mrs Ferragamo is survived by her son Ferruccio, who is now president and chairman. Her daughter Giovanna Gentile Ferragamo is the vice chairwoman, her son Massimo is the chairman of Ferragamo USA with her other son Leonardo is one of the senior executives. 

Salvatore Ferragamo Today 

The brand has remained true to its heritage continuing to perfect the production of high-quality shoes and other accessories. There is no compromise on quality with every inch of the process tried and tested. 
Salvatore Ferragamo
The Manovia workshop in Florence continuously combines technology with craftsmanship. They make everything from shoe creations to the runway, samples, prototypes and the testing of new materials. The group continue to pass down their generations of knowledge with the best artisans with an Italian approach to design. 

Salvatore Ferragamo Sustainability 

The Ferragamo group have streamlined their strategy for sustainability. Their Green Team continues to experiment and pushes the use of natural materials in line with their environmental commitment. Furthermore, they were one of the first to trail materials such as feathers and fish skin. 

Their facilities in Italy obtained an ISO 50001 Certification, to ensure a more efficient and sustainable use of energy. They volunteer in the climate change questions for transparency and accounting of CO2 emissions and are committed to searching for sustainable transport solutions are part of their sustainable strategy among other things. 

Salvatore Ferragamo

Best-Selling Salvatore Ferragamo Pieces 

#1 Salvatore Ferragamo Men's Loafers

#2 Salvatore Ferragamo Women's Viva Ballet Flats

#3 Salvatore Ferragamo Women's Trifolio Bag

#4 Salvatore Ferragamo Men's Gancini Belt




Holly Thompson
Holly Thompson Writer and expert

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