Salvatore Ferragamo

Salvatore Ferragamo is born in June 1989 in Bonito, Italy. Ferregamo dies in August 1969 in Fumiento, Italy. Around 1909 when he was a kid he starts working in a shoemaker’s shop owned by Luigi Fest in Bonito. A while later he starts running his own shoemaker’s shop and shoe store. In 1914 he immigrates to the US where his brothers have already settled down. His life is in California where he starts producing shoes ordered by the American Film Company of Santa Barbara. He starts studying anatomy in the university of Los Angelis in order to get to know more about the construction of the human body and the way the legs are operating. In 1923 he moves to Hollywood where he works with a really great success for the cinema until 1927. In a really fast manner he becomes famous for his real hard work and extraordinary way of creating shoes. He gets back to Italy and starts an enormous shoe factory with a staff of 60 people. The business is getting larger, however in a few years Ferragamo has bankrupted following the large financial crisis in the US. Until the end of the 1930-s he has started his business again. Before the age of 60 he is proud of the fact that has produced more than 20 000 pairs of shoes and lots of them are famous movie stars. This I show Ferragamo becomes one of the most famous designers and shoe makers.

Always accurate, he is the designer of the shoes with high platforms, women sandals and their contemporary model with high heels and cork soles. Along with that he has invented many other innovations. The stats are showing that around 1960 he can be proud of the above 350 patents of shoe related innovations. He has won the prize ‘Neiman marcus’ (1947) that has never been won by a shoemaker before that – only designers of clothes.

Nowadays Salvatore Ferragamo is a world famous shoe brand. Apart from shoes they produce clothes, bags, eye-glasses, watches and last but not least – perfumes. Well know fragrances are Ferragamo Pour Femme (1998), Ferragamo Pour Hommе (1999), Incanto (2003), Incanto Pour Homme (2004). They also start selling the Incanto Dream (2005), Incanto Charms (2005), F by Ferragamo (2006), Incanto Shine (2007), F by Ferragamo Pour Homme (2007), F for Fascinating & Incanto Heaven (2008), Tuscan Soul (2008), Incanto Bliss (2009), F by Ferragamo Pour Homme Black (2009), F for Fascinating Night (2009), Incanto Bloom (2009).

Apart from the Ferragamo brand the family owns the famous fashion house of Emanuel Ungaro. The managing director of the company is one of the most famous shoe makers – Leonardo Ferragamo.


There are a few really significant events in the childhood of Salvatore Ferragamo. At the age of 11 (some people say that it is even at the age of 9) is when he creates his first pair of shoes. Inspired by the first sacrament of his sister he manages to surprise her. It takes him only one night to create the pair of shoes for her covered with white cardboard. Salvatore Ferragamo spends his childhood in the small village Bonita close to Naples. His parents could hardly manage to take proper care of the 14 kids they had. Salvator is the youngest one who has decided to quit school in the third grade. He was not that excited by the fact that will no longer continue with his studies. His parents were really uncomfortable with this idea and were also against his plans to repair the shoes of the others. They were considering a lot better options for their kid in case he takes up another craft as at that time the shoemaking was not really considered a profitable occupation. While helping the famous at that time shoemaker Luigi Festa, Salvatore got to know the main skills necessary to be able to repair shoes. In two years he has the necessary skills and knowledge in order to open his own store. There he offers cheap and comfortable shoes for women. The fact that they were handmade is what attracts the attention. His staff consists of 5 people – only boys, the oldest one at the age of 18. Soon the young businessman considers his customers and space insufficient and decides to take the long immigrant road.

The United States

One of reasons why he left for the US is most probably the fact that there most of his brothers and sisters have already settled down. Some of them are occupied with cloth making other with ironing. With the help of his relatives he manages to start work at a shoe factory in Boston that produces a really large number of shoes – all mechanically. Salvatore is really disappointed about the way they are creating shoes. He leaves the factory and gets back to Santa Barbara where with the help of his brothers and sisters that give him some money he manages to open his own store and workshop. Gradually the activity is getting larger and he is full of orders from various movies studios asking for shoes and boots. At the first these shoes were only for the purpose of the cinema, later on the actors and actresses started ordering shoes for themselves.

Among the main reasons why the Italian has become a magnet for the movie stars is his precise way of work, individual approach, diversity of materials used, the harmony offered between the leg and the shoe – all this was a matter of skills and good sense.

The cinema is really attracting Ferragamo with the variety of interpretations – he needs to produce sandals that have been worn in the ancient times along with sexy modern shoes. When the movie studios have moved from Santa Barbara to Hollywood it is quite logical that Salvatore goes after them – he moves his factory close to his customers. This way he keeps on creating real masterpieces for the great Hollywood productions like ‘Evita’ (1996) and ‘The story about Cinderella’ (2004).

The ornaments of the shoes are created from various strange and extraordinary materials – crystals, leather of kangaroo, sea leopard, feathers, etc. The brand is more than successful and the number of customers is constantly increasing as the shoes are not only classy but really comfortable and practical. Thanks to his anatomic knowledge about the human legs, ankles and foots Ferragamo places a think steel layer in the sole. This way it keeps the stem step. This innovation has been patented along with many others.

Mine Italy

Salvatore Ferragamo becomes really impossible to be replaced as a shoe designed in the cinema and not only this but also for the life of the celebrities. He gets the nickname – ‘The celebrities shoemaker’. Despite all this he decides to get back to Italy. He has never stopped thinking about Italy and about all of his countrymen. In order to continue using his technology in creating shoes – in particular each operation is performed by different people, not machines, Ferragamo need a lot of skillful craftsmen. And where are they – the answer is one and it is in Italy. The real reasons why he got back are probably two – homesickness and the great depression in the United States. At that time the luxurious goods were not really attractive as most of the people were mainly occupied in finding a way to survive and did not have that much time to think about fashion and style.

After a close monitoring of the job market Salvatore Ferragamo decides to settle in Florence. There in 1927 he opens his own workshop with a staff of 60 craftsmen that have been selected all by himself. 11 years later after he has gained sufficient amount of money and reputation he takes a loan in order to purchase the castle of ‘Sipini Feroni’ and the ‘MichelangeloPalago’ cottage. Not long after that Ferragamo turns into a national capital. ‘Sipini Feroni’ turns into a great attraction for celebrities from all over the World.

The critics point out that Ferragamo has won the title ‘he greatest shoemaker ever’ thatnk to the personal attitude he has had to each foot. The shoes he has designed are of great importance for the fashion for women. They are functional, stylish and modern. The invention of the nylon socks, cutting the dresses and the entire dynamic of the fashion require also an adequate attitude for the feet. It has been high time that the old rough shoes are replaced with elegant, shining, classy and stylish shoes with high heels. The Ferragamo pieces are really different than the old clumsy and not comfortable shoes. What the ‘Shoemaker’ creates is really full of freedom and imagination.

The innovations of Salvatore Ferragamo are really important for two main reasons. The first one is related to the improvement of the design that is really close to the human anatomy. Here we can also add the fact that the fashion is constantly changing, different styles and clothes that require new and suitable shoes. The second reason is more political and economical. Ferragamo had to be really smart and inventive. The sanctions imposed on Italy following the fascist government has forced most of the entrepreneurs to think of various way in order to substitute the materials needed for their production. Apart from the metal in the soles and the steel pins in the heels, Ferragamo has invented plenty of other innovations. He has introduced the think soles ‘tanks’ (1938), he is using floss for making shoes, taffeta and satin, nylon and plenty of other materials. He is famous for his ‘invisible sandals’ in 1947 where he has used clear nylon fibers. The colorful clogs, shoes looking like a shell, shoes and bags made of crocodile leather – this is just a small part of the long list of patents that Ferragamo has made. Not only the rich people but also all of his colleagues in the fashion business were always waiting for him to invent something new in order to also start applying it in their practices.

Family and business

Salvatore Ferragamo has never broken the family traditions. He is a member of a large family and also enjoys a really large family with lots of kids. At the age of 42 he makes the decision to settle down. He has selected for his wife Vanda Miellti who is a lot younger. They have 6 kids – Fiama, Giovana, Ferucio, Fulvia, Leonardo and Massimo. Ferragamo dies at the age of 62 and for the relevantly short life has followed really strict rules in his professional and personal lives. Dedicated entirely to his work Ferragamo has always been ethical, correct and consistent. Thanks to his extremely large inspiration he has devoted a large amount of efforts in order to build his reputation. Even after his death when his widow starts running his business and later on it his Leonardo – all these rules have been kept and even upgraded. Nowadays almost all the members of the Ferragamo family are taking part into the fashion business.

One response to “Salvatore Ferragamo”

  1. […] perfume was created by the design house Salvatore Ferragamo. It is a part of the line Incanto (2003), including Incanto Dream, Incanto Heaven, Incanto Shine, […]

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