The year 2008 marks the eightieth anniversary of the Salvatore Ferragamo business.
Founded in Florence in 1928, Salvatore Ferragamo soon became one of the most celebrated Italian luxury brands in the world. Its history dates even further back though, to the turn of the century when its founder Salvatore Ferragamo left his small native village in Southern Italy to move, along side other Italians, to the United States.
He went on to make a name for himself in Hollywood, crafting custom-made shoes for rising movie stars.
The shoemaker’s creativity, the fine craftsmanship of his work and the incomparable comfort of his shoes soon made Ferragamo a name synonymous with original design, high quality, and a perfect fit.
However Ferragamo only become a brand after Salvatore returned to Italy in 1927 and settled down in Florence. Here, one man’s dream gave life to a company that produced more than 350 pairs of shoes every day and employs 750 shoemakers working in a state-of-theart factories Ferragamo started to produce exclusive shoes for celebrities all around the world and movie stars like Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe.
In the 1930s and 40s when leather became scarce, Ferragamo made one-of-a-kind shoes by experimenting with more readily available materials, such as cork and cellophane.
He patented styles that changed the course of shoe design history, like the cork wedge and the invisible sandal with an upper made with a nylon fishing line.
After the Second World War, film stars, royalty and the international jet-set started attending the Ferragamo showroom in Palazzo Spini Feroni, a medieval building in the heart of Florence and the company’s headquarters since 1938, to attend fittings and make personal orders.
They went there to personally order extraordinarily original and high-quality shoes.
After Salvatore’s death in 1960, the brand kept its prestige and excellent reputation.
A new chapter began thanks to the capable hands of his wife Wanda and their six children, whose business acumen and strong values developed the brand further and included the expansion of both the distribution network and the product range.
Today, Ferragamo counts over 550 stores around the world, a turnover totaled € 691 million in 2008, with products now ranging from the original women’s shoes to clothing, bags, scarves, ties, eyewear, watches and man’s and woman’s fragrances.
In 1995 Ferragamo opened in Florence a Museum celebrating the founder’s creativity.
A few years later, the 5th December 2006 was re-opened in a new location on the basement of Palazzo Spini Feroni. Ferragamo’s Creations: a number of famous shoe models have been reproduced and sold in Salvatore Ferragamo’s Florence store.