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A quintessentially Italian label’s success story, made of dreams and determination

Some lives are like fairy tales. And some people are legends. Salvatore Ferragamo — with his eyes full of dreams like a teenager and “nothing to lose” determination in his bones — took off for the New World and intuitively knew the road to success: Hollywood, a cutting-edge showcase for his shoes.

Left: 1946 – Salvatore Ferragamo examines the craftmanship in his workshop at Palazzo Spini Feroni. Photo Credit: David Lees; Right: 1951 – During the first Italian fashion show in Florence, Salvatore Ferragamo launches “kimo”, a sandal with an interchangeable ankle sock.

A creative mind never stops and an ambitious spirit feeds off the flame of innovation. Ferragamo’s clear-eyed business sense made him consider the pros and cons of industrial and craft production. He came back to Italy and created a new production chain that combined the best of each approach and did away with the downsides. The result is pure excellence: Italian-made quality paired with the efficiency and speed of industry.

1960 – Salvatore Ferragamo‘s dream to “dress a woman from head to toe” continues through his wife and children.

Salvatore Ferragamo shared his work with his family and left behind a project for turning his footwear company into a high fashion label.

Left: The founder, Salvatore Ferragamo; Right: Ferragamo family in 2003

When he passed away, his wife Wanda and their children — each with their own character and approach — took up his challenge. There was Fiamma, known for her elegance and creativity, who passed away prematurely at 57 years old and is the namesake of a coveted line of bags, with refined rounded lines, practical for everyday use with handles and a shoulder strap. His daughter Giovanna — reserved but equally talented — focused on designing and developing clothing. His daughter Fulvia was in charge of silk accessories. And his sons Leonardo, Ferruccio and Massimo took charge of management and expanding Ferragamo worldwide.

1967 – Following in the footsteps of her father, Fiamma Di San Giuliano receives the “Neiman Marcus Award”, fashion’s Oscar equivalent.

Left: 1970 – The Company begins producing Men’s shoes and clothing. The Men’s line will be further expanded in the Eighties by Leonardo Ferragamo; Right: 1971 – Under the direction of Fulvia Visconti Ferragamo, silk scarves and ties become one of the Company’s brand statements.