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.
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.
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.