Ferragamo Stages Exhibition Celebrating the Brand’s Founder

The Salvatore Ferragamo Museum located in the heart of Florence pays homage to the Italian Maison to celebrate 100 years since the opening of the first Ferragamo shop in Hollywood. Titled ‘Salvatore Ferragamo 1898-1960’, it leads viewers on a trip through both Ferragamo’s personal life and extraordinary archive, which continues to influence the house’s collections today. 

The exhibition explores in an unprecedented way Salvatore Ferragamo’s virtuoso sense of aesthetics with regard to footwear and at the same time his contribution to the rebirth of craftsmanship and the enhancement of Made in Italy. A journey through memory testified by writings, objects, works of art, photographs and films that recount his infinite passion and surprising farsightedness.

In the exhibition, shoes are the protagonists, presented not only for their aesthetic value, but as documents that recall Ferragamo’s craftsmanship, entrepreneurial ability, passion for colours and creative flair. It is an exhibition that brings to light the many facets of this creative personality and his constant inspirations drawn from art and ancient culture. 

Other highlights in the exhibition include an array of unique archival objects including sketches, photographs and documents of key moments in Ferragamo’s life, spanning from images of his hometown Bonito to those teaching young apprentices how to make shoes in the ‘30s; from his wedding day and receiving the Neiman Marcus Award in 1947 to drawings made by Andy Warhol in the ‘50s.

The exhibition include the original shoes created for Ten Commandments at the Hollywood Boot Shop, intricate raffia sandals from the 1930s, and an 18-karat gold sandal moulded by Florentine goldsmiths for one of Ferragamo’s American clients in the 1950s. The ornate style went on to inspire details in Davis’ A/W 2023 collection for the house, shown this past February in Milan – an apt example of the shoemaker’s continuing influence, and the blurred line between past and present that the new exhibition explores.

“I love feet, I have the feeling that they speak to me. When I touch them I can feel their strength and weakness, their vitality and their flaws. A foot in good health, with firm muscles and a strong arch, is a masterpiece of sublime workmanship.”– Salvatore Ferragamo

‘Salvatore Ferragamo 1898-1960’ runs at the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum from October 27 2023 to November 4 2024. museo.ferragamo.com