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This article is about the fashion designer.

For the company, see Salvatore


Ferragamo S.p.A.
Salvatore Ferragamo
Born

5 June 1898
Bonito, Italy

Died

7 August 1960 (aged 62)


Florence, Italy

Residence Florence, Italy


Nationalit
y

Italian

Alma mate University of Southern California


r
Occupatio Shoe designer
n
Known for Founder of Salvatore Ferragamo
S.p.A..
Notable
work

cage heel, wedge heel

Spouse(s)

Wanda Ferragamo-Miletti

Children

Salvatore Ferragamo (5 June 1898 7 August 1960) was


an Italian shoe designer and the founder of Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A..
Ferragamo worked with many Hollywood stars in the 1920s, before returning to
Italy to found the eponymous company making unique handmade footwear. His
scientific and creative approach to shoes spawned many innovations such as the
wedge heel and cage heel. Film stars and celebrities continue to patronize his
company, which has evolved into a luxury goods empire spanning the world.
Contents
[hide]

1Early life

2Career

3Death and legacy

4Present day

5Family

6References

7Further reading

8External links

Early life[edit]
Salvatore Ferragamo was born in 1898 in Bonito, near Avellino, the eleventh of 14
children, to a poor family. After making his first pair of shoes at age nine, for his
sisters to wear at their confirmation, young Salvatore decided that he had found
his calling.
Career[edit]
After studying shoemaking in Naples for a year, Ferragamo opened a small store
based in his parent's home. In 1914, he emigrated to Boston, where one of his
brothers worked in a cowboy boot factory. After a brief stint at the factory,
Ferragamo convinced his brothers to move to California, first Santa
Barbara then Hollywood. It was here that Ferragamo found success, initially
opening a shop for repair and made-to-measure shoes, which soon became
prized items among celebrities of the day, leading to a long period of designing
footwear for the cinema. However, his thriving reputation as 'Shoemaker to the
Stars' only partially satisfied him. He could not fathom why his shoes pleased the
eye yet hurt the foot, so he proceeded to study anatomy at the University of
Southern California.
After spending thirteen years in the United States, Ferragamo returned to Italy in
1927, this time settling in Florence. He began to fashion shoes for the wealthiest
and most powerful women of the century, from the Maharani of Cooch
Behar to Eva Peron to Marilyn Monroe. He opened a workshop in the Via Mannelli,
concentrating his efforts in experimenting with design, applying for patents for
ornamental and utility models and some related inventions. Although he filed
for bankruptcy in 1933 due to bad management and economic pressures,
Ferragamo nonetheless expanded his operation during the 1950s to a workforce
of around 700 expert artisans that produced 350 pairs of handmade shoes a day.
The Rainbow was created by Salvatore Ferragamo in 1938 and was the first
instance of the platform shoe returning in modern days in the West. The platform
sandal was designed for Judy Garland, an American singer, actress, and
vaudevillian. This shoe was a tribute to Judy Garlands signature song Over the
Rainbow performed in the Wizard of Oz in 1938. The shoe was a crafted using
uniquely shaped slabs of cork that were covered in suede to build up the wedge
and gold kidskin was used for the straps. His creation was a result of
experimentations with new materials because of wartime rationing during World
War 2[1]
Death and legacy[edit]
Salvatore Ferragamo died in 1960 at the age of 62, but his name lives on as an
international company, which has expanded its operations to include luxury
shoes, bags, eyewear, silk accessories, watches, perfumes and a ready-to-wear
clothing line. At his death his wife Wanda and later their six children (Fiamma,
Giovanna, Fulvia, Ferruccio, Massimo and Leonardo) ran the company. Ferragamo
was always recognized as a visionary, and his designs ranged from the strikingly

bizarre objet d'art to the traditionally elegant, often serving as the main
inspiration to other footwear designers of his time and beyond.
His most famous invention is arguably the "Cage Heel". Fiamma (Salvatore's
eldest daughter who died in 1998) inherited her father's inimitable talent and
came up with the "Vara pumps" in 1978.
A museum dedicated to Ferragamo's life and work opened in the Palazzo Spini
Feroni in 1995. The palazzo had been bought by Ferragamo in the 1930s.
In March 2013, Ferragamo's fashion house, Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A.,
established the Ferragamo Foundation in Florence. The foundation was formed to
cultivate young fashion designers, based on the ideas of Salvatore Ferragamo. [2]
Present day[edit]
The company is currently owned by the Ferragamo family, which in November
2006 included Salvatore's widow Wanda, five children, 23 grandchildren and
other relatives. There is a rule that only 3 members of the family can work at the
company, prompting fierce competition. To ease these tensions, in September
2006 the family announced a plan to float 48% of the company on the stock
market, and since October 2006 Michele Norsa has served as managing and
general director. However, as of January 2008, this plan may be put on hold in the
midst of the downturn in the financial market. If the listing on the stock market
proceeds, the fund will be directed primarily towards building its positions in
China. The company held its 80th anniversary exhibition in Shanghai.
Family[edit]

James Ferragamo: graduate of NYU Stern, is the Womens Leather Product


Director for the Salvatore Ferragamo Group.

Wanda Ferragamo Miletti: has led the group since 1960, when her husband
and founder of the company, Salvatore, died. She is currently Honorary
Chairman.

Ferruccio Ferragamo: he is currently President of the Company. He had twin


sons Salvatore and James (above) by his first wife Amanda Peat, sister
of Michael Peat, a royal courtier.

Giovanna Gentile-Ferragamo: she is currently vice president of Ferragamo


Finanziaria SpA.

Leonardo Ferragamo, since 2000, he has served as CEO of Palazzo Feroni


Finanziaria S.p.A, the familys holding company.

Massimo Ferragamo: he is Chairman of Ferragamo USA, the Ferragamo


company that has handled the brands distribution in North America since
Fifties.

Fulvia Visconti-Ferragamo: has run the fashion labels silk accessories


division since the Seventies. She is Vice-President of Salvatore
Ferragamo SpA.

Fiamma Ferragamo di San Giuliano: she died in 1998, many still believe her
to be an influential figure in the life of the company today. Her passion for

her work, her imagination and inventiveness have led to the creation of
some of the brands most iconic products, such as Vara shoe and the
Gancino.
References[edit]
1. Jump up^ DeMello, M. (2009). Feet and footwear: A cultural
encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Press/ABC-CLIO.
2. Jump up^ Kilcooley-O'Halloran, Scarlett (27 March
2013). "Salvatore Ferragamo Launches Fashion Foundation". Vogue.
Further reading[edit]

Ricci, Stefania; Glanz Margo; Mercedes Iturbe (2006). Walking Dreams:


Salvatore Ferragamo, 1898-1960.

External links[edit]

wear

Court shoe
Mule
Peep-toe
shoe
Platform shoe
Slingback

Ballet boot
Beatle boot
Cowboy boot
Fashion boot
Kinky boots

Official Site of Salvatore Ferragamo

Salvatore Ferragamo at the Fashion Model Directory

Official Site of the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum

Knee-high
boot
Platform boot
Thigh-high
boots
Winklepickers

Clear heels
Kitten heel
Spool heel
Stiletto heel
Wedge heel

ALDO Group
Manolo
Blahnik
Lionel Bussey
Jimmy Choo
Kenneth Cole
Patrick Cox
Salvatore
Ferragamo
Maud Frizon
Cole Haan
Hush Puppies
Charles
Jourdan
Beth Levine
Pura Lopez
Christian
Louboutin
Steve
Madden

Bruno Magli
Nine West
Beatrix Ong
Prada
Sergio Rossi
Yves Saint
Laurent
Yotam
Solomon
United Nude
Roger Vivier
Stuart
Weitzman
Giuseppe
Zanotti
Rachel Zoe

WorldCat Identities

VIAF: 25410609

LCCN: n85066123

ISNI: 0000 0000 8365 9724

GND: 119347156

SUDOC: 059705019

BNF: cb144528124 (data)

NDL: 00536356
Categories:

1898 births

1960 deaths

Italian fashion designers

Italian businesspeople

Italian billionaires

Shoe designers

Altagamma members

People from the Province of Avellino

University of Southern California alumni

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