We visited the historical archive Salvatore Ferragamo and we did it comfortably (and for free) from our personal device. Through the new site ferragamo.com, we virtually entered the company’s headquarters in Osmannoro, north of Florence, where a century of history of the Italian brand is kept. Here are 5 reasons why we recommend the experience.
One of the first areas of the Salvatore Ferragamo historical archive is the corridor dedicated to Marilyn Monroe, one of the designer’s most famous and loyal customers. Her décolleté with 11 cm heel they were responsible for that swaying walk, so seductive and particular, that it made it unique. The shoes that the actress wore, on set and in private life, vary in leathers and colors but the model has always been the same for years, as if it were an extension of her body.
Salvatore Ferragamo, Décolleté, 1956, kid. The model was created for Marilyn Monroe for the film Bus Stop, directed by Joshua Logan (1956). The shoes were purchased at the actress’s personal property auction held at Christie’s in New York on October 28, 1999.
In the pavilion dedicated to the custody of important documents on the history of the brand, are preserved finds dating back to a century ago. These are letters, certificates, orders, drawings, press reviews, historical photographs, images from advertising campaigns, films, radio and television interviews. In addition, the archive retains two scrapbooks made by Salvatore Ferragamo himself during his stay in Hollywood, thanks to which he was able to demonstrate, once he returned to Italy in 1927, that he had built a career overseas and that he was already known in America as “The shoemaker of the stars”.
On February 12, 1951 Salvatore Ferragamo took part in the first fashion show of models with a clear Italian imprint organized by the buyer Giovanni Battista Giorgini in Florence, in front of the press and international buyers. Ferragamo adheres with a sandal model, the Kimo, made for the clothes of the Roman tailor Emilio Schuberth. Inspired by the Japanese tabi, it is worn with a leather or satin sock to match the color of the dress. Photo David Lees.
In the section of the historical archive dedicated to footwear they are almost kept 15,000 shoe models, arranged chronologically, from the twenties of the twentieth century to today. In 1938, Salvatore Ferragamo created one of his most famous models for Judy Garland. Since that time the sandal Rainbow has become a fashion icon representing a perfect synthesis between style and creativity. The heel and platform sole, made with shaped layers of cork, are the result of experimentation inspired by architectural forms, while the chromatic choice is indicative of Ferragamo’s preference for bright colors.
Rainbow Sandal Salvatore Ferragamo (1938)
In the same space they are also kept the wooden shapes on which shoes are built. Many of them meet “Famous feet” of customers of the company, including the name of Sophia Loren. The actress has been a client of the maison since the 1950s and was involved by Salvatore Ferragamo in an important event in Rome, in 1955, for the launch of a collection of fish leather footwear.
The wooden shape of Sophia Loren’s foot made to measure by Salvatore Ferragamo.
The first Ferragamo foulard it was produced in 1961 by the Ravasi company in Como and is signed by an artist, Alvaro Monnini, founder of geometric abstractionism, who in those years was also dedicated to advertising graphics. With the representation of Palazzo Spini Feroni in Florence, headquarters of Salvatore Ferragamo since 1938, the foulard is not just an accessory to wear but an original advertisement for the company.
Palace, 1961, silk twill foulard designed by the artist Alvaro Monnini
Wanted by Salvatore Ferragamo personally and then consolidated by his daughter Fiamma, the archive is now managed by the Ferragamo Foundation which has made it a vast reality, structured and organized in compliance with the highest conservation standards. Waiting to welcome visitors live, through the virtual tour you can explore the spaces of the archive through digital tools such as high resolution 360 ° images, info points, videos and in-depth information sheets.