Who was Salvatore Ferragamo?

By Visitor andpetros

If it happens that you are in Florence you definitely need to visit an extraordinary museum.  This museum has established in 1995 by the Ferragamo family. Here you can find photographs, patents, sketches, wooden lasts of various famous feet and a lot more created by Salvatore Ferragamo from the end of the 1920s until 1960s. 

Many people have probably heard about Ferragamo as a luxurious brand that offers wide range of shoes, bags,  small leather goods, fragrances and so fort. But few are familiar with the story behind the creation of this brand and a very talented person who build up something more than just a brand. 

Salvatore Ferragamo (1898-1960) was born in 1898 in Bonito, near Naples and was the eleventh of 14 children. Ferragamo's parents were poor farmers hardly keeping their family afloat. Once when Ferragamo's sisters were about to celebrate their first communion parents were unable to buy shoes for them and Salvatore decided to take control of the situation: To avoid seeing his sisters barefoot Salvatore borrowed materials from the local cobbler and made shoes himself. This was the first but big step in his shoemaking career. He was just fourteen when he opened his first shop in his parents home after studying shoemaking. But the big step towards creating a new empire was in 1914 when Ferragamo moved to Boston where one of his brothers was already working in the shoe factory. After a while Ferragamo managed to open a shop for shoe repairs in Santa Barbara then Hollywood. It took just a couple of months for these shops to become famous leading to recognition by the most celebrities of the time. 
His clients over the years included Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Greta Garbo, Andy Warhol and so forth. 

Ferragamo spent 13 years in the US and after returned to his motherland - Italy. Ferragamo not only created a new era in shoe industry but also was author of various inventions that he later patented. 
His patents include special systems for  making leather substitutes, heels made of transparent bakelite, transparent sandals. Moreover, Salvatore come up with an idea of heels designed by sewing together the corks of wine bottles and then lining them with leather.

Today Ferragamo company has more than 2600 employees and a network of 500 stores with over $1 billion revenue every year. With over 80 years of experience in the field it continues the work started by Salvatore with the same enthusiasm and innovative soul bringing to life new line of eccentric art works for every capricious taste.    

Below you can see some of the latest collections of Ferragamo:  

Sources: http://www.designboom.com/history/ferragamo.html
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