The tale of Ferragamo extends beyond its founder’s description as the shoemaker who rose from humble beginnings to become the preferred choice of Hollywood’s elite. It’s a narrative marked by constant rejuvenation and growth. Salvatore Ferragamo, hailing from the village of Bonito as the 11th of 14 siblings, demonstrated an early knack for crafting exquisite footwear by the age of 12. His renaissance commenced in the United States, where his innate Italian artistry converged with an understanding of Hollywood’s desires.
This transformation was achieved through the fusion of daring skill with Italian heritage. At his Hollywood Boulevard store (6683 Hollywood Boulevard), the interiors radiated Italian Renaissance grandeur. Walls adorned with batik resembling 14th-century tapestries, intricately carved sofas, and sumptuous drapes alongside classical columns. Although tied to Avellino near Naples, Salvatore’s heart was captivated by Florence, renowned as the “Jewel of the Renaissance.” He was deeply imbued with the essence of that era and place, harnessing its potency and resonance. Therefore, when he eventually decided to return to his homeland, Florence was the sole destination worthy of his ambitions. This marked the inception of a new Ferragamo Renaissance.
The beautiful campaign also features artworks from artists such as: Alesso Baldovinetti, Annunciation (1457), Giovanni Bellini, Holy Allegory (1490-1500), Paolo Veronese, Annunciation (1570-75), Francesco Granacci, Joseph Going to Prison (1515), Giorgio Vasari, Portrait of Alessandro de Medici (1534), Botticelli, Portrait of a Man with a Medal of Cosimo the Elder (1475), Botticelli, The Annunciation of San Martino alla Scala (1481), Piero della Francesca, Diptych of Federico da Montefeltro and Battista Sforza (1467-1472) – an ode to Italian art.
The Italian Renaissance was a period of boundless ingenuity and fresh concepts. It exalted craftsmanship and innovation, melding artistry with artisanal excellence. These attributes found a home in Palazzo Spini Feroni, the Florentine residence gifted to Ferragamo by Salvatore in 1927. This palatial structure, which continues to serve as Ferragamo’s headquarters, mirrored the essence of the Florentine bottega, akin to the workshops where master artisans fostered dialogues, idea exchanges, and knowledge dissemination. Here, Renaissance intellectuals and artists transformed local philosophies and talents into a global phenomenon.
“The Renaissance is hardwired into Florence, and Florence is hardwired into Ferragamo. At this time of a new beginning at the house, it made perfect sense to reclaim the cradle of the Renaissance as our spiritual home, and to harness the deep, artistic spirit of this city to showcase the new collection”Maximilian Davis
A community of creatives ignited the founder’s imagination and showcased his Florence-infused collections. This encompassed not just his fellow craftspeople but also his illustrious clientele, counting Audrey Hepburn, Greta Garbo, Sophia Loren, Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, and Eva Perón. (Madonna later sported Ferragamo when portraying Perón in Evita.)
At the heart of Ferragamo’s Florentine journey, emblematic of the city’s continuous celebration of the Renaissance, lay the Uffizi Gallery. Conceived by Giorgio Vasari in 1569 as offices (uffizi) for Cosimo I de’ Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, this establishment stands as one of the earliest modern museums. It opened its doors to the public in 1769, subsequently evolving into a museum about a century later. Through Florence’s history, the Uffizi remained a steadfast beacon, underscoring the enduring significance of eternal ideas, artistic brilliance, beauty, and creativity.