Salvatore Ferragamo was an Italian shoe designer and founder of Salvatore Ferragamo, the luxury goods retailer.
Ferragamo was born in Bonito, Italy on June 5 1898, as the eleventh of fourteen children of his parents Antonio Ferragamo and Mariantonia Ferragamo. Rumor has it that, at age nine, Salvatore made his first pair of shoes for himself and heels for his sister to wear. This was his calling.
In 1915, Salvatore moved to Boston, Massachusetts, later moving to California. It was in California that Salvatore opened a shop for repair and made-to-measure shoes.
It was not long before Salvatore Ferragamo returned to Italy, in 1927, where he incorporated his first company based in Florence, where the focus was on the study, creation, manufacture and sale of women's footwear.
He wanted to bring Italian made shoes to be distributed in Hollywood. He began to create shoes for prominent iconic women, such as Marilyn Monroe.
Following this, he created a factory at via Mannelli 57 (now 109). The first stores were opened in Florence in 1937, a single room located in Palazzo Altoviti Sangalletti in Via Tornabuoni, documented in Vogue USA in 1937.
Ferragamo stores then opened in Rome and London in 1938, and in 1948 in NYC.
In 1954, Ferragamo's company was chosen by the American magazine Fortune and alongside other 13 Italian companies, to represent and promote the "Energies of Italy:" all firms that testified to the achieved modernization of the country, which had happened under the sign of a completely Italian ability to combine technological innovation, sense of style and elegance, design and artisanal tradition. Who, better than Ferragamo, could offer a synthesis of these characteristics?
Not many years later, in August 1960, Salvatore Ferragamo died in Florence. He nonetheless left behind what is still today one of the most famous and main Italian fashion companies and brands in the world: a true ambassador of Made in Italy elegance and sense of style.
"The Energies of Italy"
Article in Fortune Magazine, 1953
“The History.” Ferragamo Group. Accessed November 8, 2021. https://group.ferragamo.com/en/group/group-history.
“Salvatore Ferragamo: Fashion Designer Biography.” FAMOUS FASHION DESIGNERS. Accessed November 8, 2021. https://www.famousfashiondesigners.org/salvatore-ferragamo.
“The Energies of Italy,” Fortune, Gennaio 1954, pp. 98-107.