Salvatore Ferragamo, the Italian luxury fashion House, celebrated the debut of an impressive design concept by renowned architect William Sofield with the reopening of the Beverly Hills Flagship store on Rodeo Drive. The unveiling of the new concept, inspired by Salvatore’s years of innovation in California, marked a return to Hollywood, 100 years in the making.
Salvatore Ferragamo , (5 June 1898 – 7 August 1960), the founder, was an Italian shoe designer. He worked with many Hollywood stars in the 1920s, before returning to Italy to found the eponymous company making unique handmade footwear. His scientific and creative approach to shoes spawned many innovations such as the wedge heel and cage heel. Film stars and celebrities continue to patronize his company, which has evolved into a luxury goods empire spanning the world.
Salvatore Ferragamo was born in 1898 in Bonito, near Avellino, the eleventh of 14 children. After making his first pair of shoes at age nine, for his sisters to wear at their confirmation, young Salvatore decided that he had found his calling.
After studying shoemaking in Naples for a year, Ferragamo opened a small store based in his parent’s home. In 1914, he emigrated to Boston, where one of his brothers worked in a cowboy boot factory. After a brief stint at the factory, Ferragamo convinced his brothers to move to California, first Santa Barbara then Hollywood. It was here that Ferragamo found success, initially opening a shop for repair and made-to-measure shoes, which soon became prized items among celebrities of the day, leading to a long period of designing footwear for the cinema. However, his thriving reputation as ‘Shoemaker to the Stars’ only partially satisfied him. He could not fathom why his shoes pleased the eye yet hurt the foot, so he proceeded to study anatomy at the University of Southern California.
After spending thirteen years in the United States, Ferragamo returned to Italy in 1927, this time settling in Florence. He began to fashion shoes for the wealthiest and most powerful women of the century, from the Maharani of Cooch Behar to Eva Peron to Marilyn Monroe. He opened a workshop in the Via Mannelli, concentrating his efforts in experimenting with design, applying for patents for ornamental and utility models and some related inventions.
Salvatore Ferragamo died in 1960 at the age of 62, but his name lives on as an international company, which has since expanded its operations to include luxury shoes, bags, eyewear, silk accessories, watches, perfumes and a ready-to-wear clothing line. The company is currently owned by the Ferragamo family, which in November 2006 included Salvatore’s widow Wanda, five children, 23 grandchildren and other relatives.
The company hosted an exclusive cocktail event with Fulvia Visconti Ferragamo, James Ferragamo, Creative Director Massimiliano Giornetti, CEO Michele Norsa and architect William Sofield joined by an array of LA celebrities and tastemakers including Demi Moore, Freida Pinto, Armie Hammer and Elizabeth Chambers, Camilla Belle, Kiernan Shipka, Mackenzie Foy, Angela Lindvall, Andy Garcia, Cody Horn, Holland Roden, Eric Buterbaugh, Shiva Rose, China Chow, Amanda Luttrell Garrigus, Joel Silver, Los Angeles Galaxy soccer player Robbie Rogers, stylist Petra Flannery, Jessica de Ruiter, Kelly Lynch, Kelly Sawyer, Erica Pelosini, Kate Brien, Brigette Romanek, Crystal Lourd, Minnie Mortimer, Brooke Davenport, Marlien Rentmeester, and more. To celebrate Ferragamo’s legacy in film, then and now, the evening was feted by next generation Hollywood including Ethan Peck, Hopper Penn, Lydia Hearst, Tallulah and Scout Willis, Sasha Spielberg, Lorraine Nicholson, Ireland Baldwin, and Dominik Garcia-Lorido.(VIP/Influencers highlighted by an underline, wore Ferragamo to the event)
The original Salvatore Ferragamo shop, in its time, played host to the elite of Hollywood’s golden era, a true salon where creativity and innovation flowed. As a tribute to the consummate entertainer, guests enjoyed cocktails inspired by his original recipes in this newly re-imagined art deco environment. A showcase of Ferragamo’s original cinematic shoe designs, on loan from the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, were on display for a limited engagement.
The store opening also signaled the launch of 100 Years 100 Days, a digital platform celebrating the 100-year parallel stories of both Salvatore Ferragamo and Hollywood, offering daily posting of exclusive events, films, features, collaborations and shoppable experiences – over a 100-day period – at icons.ferragamo.com.
Following the cocktail party, the Ferragamo family and Vogue’s Lisa Love hosted a private dinner at Eric Buterbaugh Florals in West Hollywood for an intimate group including Demi Moore, Freida Pinto, Camilla Belle, Andy Garcia, Nathalie Love, Cody Horn, Jacqui Getty, Eric Buterbaugh, Greg Chait, Alex Israel, Jennifer Meyer, Ryan Hastings, Bettina Korek, Alisa Ratner, Hopper Penn, Gia Coppola, Tallulah andScout Willis, Ethan Peck, and Dominik Garcia-Lorido, Jessica de Ruiter, Kelly Lynch, Kelly Sawyer, Erica Pelosini, Kate Brien, Brigette Romanek, Crystal Lourd, Minnie Mortimer, Marlien Rentmeester, and more. Guests mingled al fresco in the garden while listening to a playlist curated by Tony Martinez, before moving to the gallery to be seated around a long table for dinner and cocktails by Lucques Catering.