The urbane chic is in love with the idea of fashion that mixes innovation, elegance and of course class! Salvatore Ferragamo is all of this combined with impeccable innovation in the form of oh-so-lovely designs
For those who swear by the charm of fashion, page 3 of tabloids are like a sacrosanct reference. Here you come across the glitz and glam of the celeb world with their jaw-dropping style statements that include some interesting choices of eyewear. Don’t be surprised if many of these choices belong to the label of Salvatore Ferragamo. Originally a footwear brand, the Ferragamo empire today has evolved into a dream house of clothing, fashion accessories, and a tempting range of eyewear. But before we get there, let us catch a glimpse of its humble origin.
A Star Is Born
Salvatore Ferragamo was born in 1898 when the idea of fashion was still evolving. Little did his middle-class parents know that the eleventh of their fourteen children would change the fate of the family forever. At the tender age of nine years, young Salvatore found his calling as a shoemaker and what led to the discovery was the simple and innocent act of making shoes for his sisters. Young Salvatore was determined to make a career in shoe designing and he pursued his passion by studying shoe-making for a year in Naples. He came back and opened a small store in his parent’s home. Salvatore went on to gain experience in the footwear industry, by moving to Boston in 1914 to work at a cowboy boot factory along with his brother.
With experience backing him from outside and passion fuelling him from inside, Salvatore decided to make the big move. He and his brothers moved to California to pursue their passion in shoe-making. And soon, Hollywood welcomed him with open arms. His ‘Hollywood Boot Shop’ became a super hit among the celebs, earning him the title ‘Shoemaker to the Stars’. His collection ranged from shoes inspired by Egyptian archaeological finds to the famous cork wedge heel — that became the inspiration for the popular Judy Garland shoes.
But Salvatore wanted his shoes to be known not just for their beauty, but also for comfort. So he went on to study the anatomy of shoe-making at the University of Southern California to make his shoes not only a treat to the eyes but also a blessing for the feet.
After 13 years in the US, when Salvatore made his way back home to Florence, Italy in 1927, his celebrity clientele was not just intact, they were eagerly waiting for him. The long list of Ferragamo fans included icons like the Maharani of Cooch Behar, Greta Garbo, Sophia Loren, and Eva Peron.
With the love for Salvatore Ferragamo’s designs growing, the brand opened its landmark headquarters. I in 1983, at the Palazzo Spini Feroni the brand’s head office. Salvatore continued to stun the fashion world with his creativity even in dire times of war. When the world was at loggerheads, Salvatore found his peace by designing shoes using materials like raffia and cork.
It was around this time that his brilliant creation, the ‘Invisible Sandal’ won him the fashion world’s highest accolade, the Neiman Marcus award. In 1949, Salvatore moved beyond shoes and went on to create his first handbag to actually hold his tools. The purpose-oriented invention continues to be sported even today! By 1950, from brainstorming and experimenting with new designs and models in a workshop in the Via Mannelli, the company’s business expanded to a workforce of close to 700 craftsmen. Innovations followed and shoes were created that were user-friendly and comfortable. Beautiful scarves with Italian symbols, 18-carat gold sandals and a whole range of new products began adorning the Ferragamo catalogs.
Salvatore Ferragamo gifted some classic masterpieces to the world of fashion, before his demise at the age of 62 in the year 1960. The reins of the company were then held by his widow Wanda, who was later joined by their six children. Their eldest son Ferruccio later took over as CEO of the company.
However, his daughter Fiamma carried on his legacy by becoming the creative mastermind of and ambassador for the company. Trained by her father for a year, she gave fashion lovers some amazing creations in shoes and handbags. Her innovations in the field of fashion footwear earned her recognition in the Neiman Marcus Award in 1967.
Salvatore Ferragamo has truly evolved into an international fashion powerhouse — a leading name not only in the world of footwear but also in luxury shoes, bags, eyewear, silk accessories, watches, perfumes, and a ready-to-wear clothing line, providing a ‘complete look’ to its loyal patrons.
The Entry Into Eyewear
It was in 1998, around the time when the world was looking at eyewear as a fashion statement when the Ferragamo powerhouse released a Ferragamo-branded line of optical frames. These designs soon took the world of optical fashion by storm. The hallmark of the Salvatore Ferragamo eyewear collection, even today, is that it is rich in colours and detail, and boasts of being playful, with gorgeous bright colours, eye-catching embellishments, iconic elements, innovative designs, and durable materials. The eyewear has also been known to be inspired by Ferragamo’s roots in shoe-making, like the Arcobaleno sunglasses that were inspired by the famous wedge sandals originally created by Salvatore Ferragamo for Judy Garland in the ’30s.
The new Salvatore Ferragamo Spring/Summer eyewear collection
This new collection has an exclusive combination of contrasting shades and materials that elevate the style while staying true to the house’s distinctive balance between inspiration and contemporary flair.
Part of the new collection is the SF197S pair of men’s sunglasses which expresses attitude and elegance while keeping true to the brand’s tailored appeal and artisanal excellence. It is crafted from a unique mix of acetate and metal featuring a cut-out effect on the frame-front, where three pins brace the floating lenses to the metal profile. Available in Black, Matte Dark Gunmetal and Dark Ruthenium. This new style debuts in the Spring/Summer 2019 global advertising campaign, ‘Patchwork of Characters.’
Salvatore Ferragamo’s SF950SL, another product from the new collection represents its legacy of craftsmanship. This bold yet timeless style unveiled on the Spring/Summer 2019 ready-to-wear runway features an exclusively crafted acetate structure entirely wrapped in karung or calf leather. This standout frame now stars in the ‘Patchwork of Characters’ advertising campaign. Each pair is enriched with a gleaming, golden logo upon the temple and coordinating temple tips. The comprehensive color shifts from timeless and classic shades to pop-color options, for those who favor a more fashionable and playful look, adding touches of relaxed yet distinctive elegance.