Ferragamo 101 - discuss style names, meanings and history of the brand

  1. Welcome to Ferragamo 101

    In this thread we will discuss the history of the brand as well as style history names and meanings. This is not the place for authentication or identification, we have threads for that...thank you.

    From Wikipedia...

    Salvatore Ferragamo (June 5, 1898 – August 7, 1960) was an Italian shoe designer. He worked with many Hollywood stars in the 1920s, before returning to Italy to found the eponymous company making unique hand-made 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.

    Salvatore Ferragamo was born in 1898 in Bonito, near Avellino, the eleventh of 14 children. After making his first pair of shoes at age nine, for his sisters to wear on their confirmation, young Salvatore decided that he had found his calling. He always had a passion for shoes. 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. 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. In 1929, 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 1950 to a workforce of around 700 expert artisans that produced 350 pairs of hand-made shoes a day.
    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. 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 Ferragamo company.
    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.

    The Salvatore Ferragamo Museum
    The Salvatore Ferragamo Museum opened in Florence in 1995. Located on the second floor of Palazzo Spini Feroni, the Museum extends over four rooms and comprises a collection of over ten thousand models of shoes created by Ferragamo over forty years, from the Twenties to his death in 1960. The Museum also has a small collection of period shoes (18th and 19th century), a collection of clothing from 1959 onwards, a collection of handbags from 1970, and a huge document archive.
  2. #2 Apr 28, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
    Salvatore Ferragamo Italia S.p.A.
    Salvatore Ferragamo Italia S.p.A. is an Italian fashion house, founded in 1927 by shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo. As well as footwear, today the company sells ready to wear clothing, handbags, leather goods and other accessories such as scarves, ties, jewelry, watches, fragrances and eyewear. Based in Florence, Ferragamo has more than 450 stores in over 55 countries.

    Salvatore Ferragamo emigrated from southern Italy to Boston and then California in 1914. He opened the Hollywood Boot Shop in 1923, and made shoes for movie stars such as Joan Crawford and Gloria Swanson, as well as for films such as Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments.[1] He returned to Italy and set up a shoe shop in Florence in 1927.[2] However the modern shoemaking company regards 1928 as the date of its foundation and so is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2008.[1] Salvatore filed for bankruptcy in 1933,[citation needed] during the Great Depression, but by 1938 he was in a position to buy the Palazzo Spini Feroni, one of the great palaces of Florence,[1] which now houses the company's flagship store and museum.
    The company flourished after World War II, expanding the workforce to 700 craftsmen producing 350 pairs of hand-made shoes a day.[citation needed] After Salvatore's death in 1960, his widow Wanda took over the running of the business and expanded its operations to include eyewear, perfume, belts, scarves,[2] bags, watches, and a ready to wear clothing line. Production has expanded from 6500 pairs of shoes in 1960 to 10,000 pairs in 2007.[2]

    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.[3] There is a rule that only 3 members of the family can work at the company, prompting fierce competition.[3] To ease these tensions, in September 2006 the family announced a plan to float 48% of the company on the stock market.[2] However, as of January 2008 this plan may be on ice due to turbulent market conditions.[4] If the floatation does go ahead, the funds will be directed towards establishing a leading position in China,[5] in fact the company is holding its 80th birthday exhibition in Shanghai.[1]

    Throughout its history the company has been known for innovative design and use of materials. This goes back to Salvatore's time in California, when he studied anatomy in order to make shoes that were more comfortable. Notable inventions include the wedge heel, the shell-shaped sole, the ‘invisible’ sandal, metal heels and soles, the 18-carat gold sandal, the sock-shoe, sculpture heels, and the gloved arch shoe created for the Maharani of Cooch Behar in 1938.[1] Metal-reinforced stiletto heels were made famous by Marilyn Monroe, [2] The company is also known for the ‘Gancino’ decoration, the ‘Vara’ patent ballet pump, the Salvatore bag and the use of patchwork.[1]

    Salvatore worked with film stars and celebrities from his earliest days in Hollywood. Over the years clients of the company have included film stars such as Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren and Greta Garbo[2] as well as celebrities such as Andy Warhol and Diana, Princess of Wales.[1] The company made Margaret Thatcher's famous handbags.[5] and for King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck during the incornation ceremony, November 6, 2008 in Thimpu, Bhutan.

    Italy - In addition to its historical Florence flagship store in the Palazzo Spini Feroni, Ferragamo has 2 stores in Milan, 2 in Rome and another 14 in prestigious locations in Naples, Genoa, Turin, Capri, Portofino and Venice.

    Europe - In Europe it has 58 directly controlled stores, including a flagship in Paris's Avenue Montaigne and one in London's Old Bond Street. The brand is to be found in major cities in France, Germany, the UK and Spain, as well as in Brussels, Athens, Monte Carlo, Vienna and Amsterdam.

    North America - Salvatore Ferragamo operates throughout the territory from Canada to Hawaii, with 25 directly controlled points of sale. In the United States, Ferragamo has 15 boutiques in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. Of particular note are the flagship stores in New York (Fifth Avenue), Beverly Hills, Boston (Copley Place) and Honolulu. In addition to its free-standing stores, there are many shop-in-shops and corners in top American department stores.

    Central and South America - Salvatore Ferragamo recently extended its direct control in Central and South America by setting up Ferragamo Mexico, which directly handles 10 points of sale in the country. It also has a select distribution circuit in numerous countries, from Venezuela to Brazil, Panama and Colombia.

    Japan - Salvatore Ferragamo has had directly controlled operations in this key country since the early 70s and can now count on a distribution network of 64 directly controlled points of sale. It has two flagship stores, one in Tokyo, in the Ginza district, and the new flagship in Osaka, opened in October 2004. Twenty-seven percent of its revenue in 2005 (575m Euros) came from Japan.[6]

    Asia - Through its Hong Kong headquarters, Salvatore Ferragamo controls its distribution operations in the following ten countries in Asia and Oceania: Hong Kong (flagship in Canton Road), Taiwan, China (flagship in Shanghai), Korea (flagship in Seoul), the Philippines (flagship in Manila), Singapore (flagship in Paragon), Thailand, Malaysia (duplex flagship at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur), Indonesia and Australia - totalling 64 directly controlled stores.

    Officers and management
    Wanda Ferragamo (Salvatore's wife): chair of the boards of directors of ‘Salvatore Ferragamo Italia S.p.A.’, of the Group holding company, ‘Ferragamo Finanziaria S.p.A.’ and of ‘Palazzo Feroni Finanziaria’, which controls the Ferragamo Group’s other businesses (Ungaro and Lungarno Alberghi S.p.A.).
    Ferruccio Ferragamo: chief executive officer of ‘Salvatore Ferragamo Italia S.p.A.’ and of the Group holding company, ‘Ferragamo Finanziaria S.p.A.’.
    Leonardo Ferragamo: chief executive officer of ‘Palazzo Feroni Finanziaria’ and chairman of ‘Lungarno Alberghi S.p.A.’. He is also on the board of various other Ferragamo companies.
    Massimo Ferragamo: chairman of ‘Ferragamo USA’, which controls the American market. He is also on the board of various other Ferragamo companies.
    Giovanna Gentile Ferragamo: vice-president of the Group holding company, ‘Ferragamo Finanziaria S.p.A.’ and a director of various other Ferragamo companies.
    Fulvia Visconti Ferragamo: vice-president of ‘Salvatore Ferragamo Italia S.p.A.’ and head of the accessories division (silk scarves, shawls, ties and bijoux). She is also a director of various other Ferragamo companies.

    Notes and references
    1. "Salvatore Ferragamo celebrates its 80th Anniversary in Shanghai" (PDF). Salvatore Ferragamo Italia SpA. Retrieved on 2008-04-20.
    2. Webb, Tim (2007), "Leonardo Ferragamo: Angels want to wear his red shoes", The Independent (London), 2007-02-04, retrieved on 2008-04-20
    3. Sherman, Lauren (2006), "When Fashion Goes Public", Forbes, 2006-11-16, retrieved on 2008-04-20
    4. Finch, Julia (2008), "Tommy Hilfiger halts flotation", The Guardian (London), 2008-01-25, retrieved on 2008-04-20
    5. Cartner-Morley, Jess (2008), written at Shanghai, "From Florence to Shanghai, Ferragamo eyes a makeover", The Guardian (London), 2008-03-29, retrieved on 2008-04-20
    6. "Japan is the world’s most concentrated source of revenue for luxury brands".
  3. Gancini is the name of the Ferragamo logo. It is often used in bag names, but really just refers to the logo.

    The style # is the stamped number on the inside of the bag. It generally looks like 21-XXXX. Searching on this style number may help with identifying the style name of the bag.
  4. I tried googling the style # off the tag and got nuttin' that helped. :sad:
  5. Does anyone know anything about his sister, Rosina Ferragamo? I have bought a few pairs of Rosina Schiavone Ferragamo heels off of eBay and they are absolutely fabulous, made with real snakeskin, but I can't find any information about the time periods she was manufacturing these shoes and their relation to the Salvatore Ferragamo brand.

  6. I did a Google search for you and found this information:

    Rosina Ferragamo Schiavone was Salvatore Ferragamo’s sister. She designed shoes between 1960 and 1975. Her designs tended toward animal skins and prints, cutouts and shoes with a dash of flash. She’s sought out among vintage collectors in the know.
  7. interesting, I remember once going to a family business' seminar and the ferragamo family was discussed there...thanks for the info!
  8. #8 Aug 21, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2009
    This is an interesting discussion. thank you for sharing :biggrin:
  9. It is so interesting I LIKE IT
  10. Salvatore Ferragamo was featured on Times Magazine Cover years ago. It did a full Article on history of this label, how it grew from a small time shoe maker to now big time Multi-Billions Corporation that carries more than just shoes, with other apparels including fashion wear, accessories & bags. Salvatore Ferragamo are not only well known for their Classic "Vara Pumps" but also their other apparels like bags. Their shoes are so comfortable compared to other designer labels & they really can last for years if taken care well. My favourite pair is a white leather dress shoes which i bought many years ago.
  11. Anybody know what Massimo Ferragamo's relation is to Salvatore?
  12. From what I could find on the net, Massimo is the son of Salvatore and Wanda and runs the us side of the business. I'm on the mobile so can't attach link but it was a business website.

  13. From the first post in the thread..."At his death his wife Wanda and later their six children (Fiamma, Giovanna, Fulvia, Ferruccio, Massimo and Leonardo) ran the Ferragamo company."
  14. [​IMG]

    Fiamma Ferragamo Filled her Father’s Shoes, and Then Some
    September 28th, 2010 | Author: Cody Bay| Post Comment

    If you’ve ever wondered how Italian women can bound around town graceful as gazelles in sky-high heels or how Judy Garland could tear up the stage in five-inch stilettos, it’s probably thanks to Ferragamos. It was the assertion of Fiamma Ferragamo, who died of breast cancer at age 57 on this day in 1998, that as long as a shoe fits a woman’s arch properly, she can walk on skyscrapers if she wants to.
    It was Fiamma’s father, of course, Salvatore Ferragamo, who started Italy’s beloved shoe company in 1927 and taught his daughter that comfort comes first, fashion second. Leave it to a guy who didn’t have a pair of shoes until he was 10 years old to make sure that if he was going to build a shoe, he was going to do it right. As the eldest of Salvatore’s six children, Fiamma was being groomed by her father, the “Shoemaker to the Stars,” to take over his business while most girls were worrying about who was going to ask them to the dance. She went to work with him at 16, and was terrified at 17 when he began taking off on trips and leaving her in charge—of not only a posh retail store on Florence’s fashionable via Tornabuoni, but factories around Florence and Naples that included 600 workers. But Fiamma (whose name means “flame”) pulled it off with flying colors. She showed her first collection in 1960 in London at 19, and she obviously had “It.” And then suddenly, the company was in her hands, when her father died of cancer that same year.
    She “looks like the convent-bred signorina she is, with her schoolgirl hairdo caught back in a band,” the New York Times said when a 22-year-old Fiamma came to the U.S. to visit Saks 5th Avenue. She made quite a regular habit of these visits as a company executive, checking in several times a year simply to visit department stores and meet the real women who wore her shoes, listening intently to comments, questions, problems and praise. Said the NYT during another of her visits in 1968, “Miss Ferragamo has succeeded in business by really trying.”
    She designed between 400 and 500 models of shoes a year, and although yes, they were comfortable, it was not in the four-letter sense of the word—these were definitely not your ER nurse’s Danskins. There were evening mules with a hand-carved scroll pattern heel; heels that glittered with gold and topaz; black satin slippers with ribbons that could tie in a multitude of ways; and her most famous, the Vara: a calfskin pump with a stacked heel and a grosgrain bow on the toe, fastened with the signature Ferragamo ornament. The timeless shoe is still considered as essential to a well-to-do lady’s wardrobe now as it was in the 1960s. No matter what the shoe, though, it had to fit—each came in at least six width sizes.
    The rest of the family eventually all jumped on board: her sister, Giovanna, as a clothing designer; her other sister Fulvia designed accessories; her brother Leonardo handled men’s sportswear; her brother Massimo took on U.S. operations; her brother Faruccio became chief executive; and their mother Wanda oversaw it all.
    It had been Salvatore’s dream for his company to expand beyond shoes into a complete house a fashion. He died before seeing his name on everything from scarves and ties to timepieces, fragrances and eyewear, but Fiamma died knowing that she did her father well. “It has been an exciting life,” she said in 1987, “and we’re all happy to have carried out our father’s dream.” —Cody Bay
  15. The Audrey Mary Jane shoe designed by Salvatore Ferragamo for actress Audrey Hepburn who wore mostly flats during her lifetime.