Salvatore Ferragamo: ‘The Shoemaker of Dreams’

evita movie 4-3-1997DALLAS, May 31, 1999 / FW/ — Salvatore Ferragamo was born in Bonito near Naples, Italy on June 1898 (died Aug 7, 1960). He married Wanda Milleti in 1949 and had 6 children: Fiamma, Giovanna, Ferrucio, Fulvia, Leonardo and Massimo.

They followed their father’s footsteps and today, the House of Ferragamo is bigger than when Salvatore was alive.

In 1907-12, Salvatore Ferragamo was an apprentice shoemaker in Bonito, Italy.

In 1914, he immigrated to the United States, and opened a shoemaking and repair shop in Santa Barbara California.

He got his start in the film industry in 1914 when he created footwear for the American Film Co., which he did until 1923. That was when he relocated to Hollywood and he became the Shoemaker of Dreams.

After a successful career making kicks for Hollywood starlets, Salvatore Ferragamo went east — like way-back-to-the-old-country east — and settled along the Arno in Florence in 1927, where he crafted shoes for whoever had the lire.

His children followed in his footsteps, and over the years, they have expanded the family’s products to include everything a man or woman needs from head to toe of course.

In the family’s Palazzo Spini-Feroni, a 13th century building which also functions as an office, is repository the family’s collection of Renaissance paintings and an open-to-the-public museum containing, among other things, the shoes worn by the feet (Marilyn Monroe’s, Greta Garbo’s, and Audrey Hepburn’s) that made the Ferragamo name famous.

Womenswear had been designed by Marc Audibet who left in October 2001 after only 4 collections.

Scottish designer Graeme Black replaced Audibet and debuted for Ferragamo during the Milan Donna Spring 2003 season. The menswear is being designed by Marc Roland.

During the Spring 2009 season, Massimiliano Giornetti debuted as the new Creative Director for the brand.

[BOYD DAVIS]