Salvatore Ferragamo was a shoe designer and he also created the luxury goods retail company Salvatore Ferragamo SPA. What made him unique was the fact that he was focused on innovation in the shoe design world. Not only did he experiment with a lot of materials, but he also drew inspiration from many historical items and tools. That really made him stand out as a great innovator and he truly pushed the boundaries to deliver something distinctive and different. Some of the materials he worked with included fish skin, crocodile and kangaroo, so he was extremely creative.
A true passion for shoemaking
Salvatore Ferragamo was always passionate about shoes and he wanted to create something unique and different. He studied shoemaking in Naples for more than a year and then he opened a small shoe store in his parent’s home. In 1914 he went to Boston where one of the brothers was working in a cowboy boot factory. He worked there too for a little bit, then he convinced his brothers to move to California. They went to Santa Barbara first, and then they worked in Hollywood.
This is where Salvatore Ferragamo managed to achieve a lot of success. He created custom shoes and he had a shoe repair shop there which was extremely popular. That’s when he also started to design a lot of shoes for the cinema. It was a great experience for him, because his business was growing quite a bit, and he continued to follow his passion and truly push the boundaries in an engaging and empowering manner.
He was so passionate about improving his shoes that after a few complaints that his shoes were uncomfortable, he actually studied anatomy at the University of Southern California. The US was a great success for Salvatore Ferragamo, because he managed to acquire a lot of amazing clients, while also solidifying his career in the industry. Not only that, but after spending 13 years in the US, he did end up coming back to Italy in Florence, where he settled in 1927. This is where he started created fashion shoes for a lot of important stars like Marylin Monroe, Eva Peron and many others. He also started a workshop on the Via Mannelli where he was experimenting with a variety of design ideas. he actually started applying for patents that would protect all of those incredible inventions of his.
This venture was not really the best, since he had to file for bankruptcy in 1933 because he had economic pressure and some bad management. Yet he was still able to expand his operations in the 1950s. One of his main creations was The Rainbow, the first modern platform shoe. This is a staple product that still exists in many iterations this day as well. That shoe was a tribute to Judy Garland, and it was crafted with cork slabs that were covered in suede, and which had gold kidskin straps.
Salvatore Ferragamo was a true innovator and he brought a lot of attention to this field with his unique creations. He never gave up, and he continued to really push the boundaries and come up with something new. That’s why he still remains one of the top shoe designers in history, as he did create a lot of amazing shoe designs that still get used up to this day!