Salvatore Ferragamo luxury shoes for men are the most beautiful men's shoes in the world. They combine an aerodynamic design with expert craftsmanship and marvelous materials. Amazingly, Ferragamo shoes are also very comfortable. There is a secret to that.
The Salvatore Ferragamo Company now features many other fashionable products including clothes, bags, belts, watches, wallets, ties, scarves, eyewear, perfumes, and shoes for ladies.
Salvatore Ferragamo was born near Naples, Italy in 1898. One of 14 children born to parents who were poor farmers, he made his first pair of shoes when he was nine years old for his sisters to have something nice to wear to their first communion. He had found his calling.
Ferragamo studied shoemaking and by the time he was 14, had opened his own shoe shop with eventually six employees working for him. In 1914, Ferragamo moved to America. His brother helped him get a job in a shoe factory in Boston, but he was disillusioned by assembly line shoemaking. He firmly believed shoes should be handmade. He moved to Hollywood and opened an atelier to create custom shoes from his original designs.
It was not long before Salvatore Ferragamo was discovered by Hollywood starlets. He made shoes for Sophia Loren, Greta Garbo, Betty Davis, Ingrid Bergman, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich, Katherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe (and Eva Peron).
Ferragamo became famous as the "shoemaker to the stars" and designed the famous ruby red shoes worn by Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.
He was dissatisfied with the comfort of shoes and so studied human anatomy at the University of Southern California to learn about the weight distribution on the bones of the foot. In the artist's own words:
"I discovered that the weight of the body when we are standing erect drops straight down on the arch of the foot. I constructed my revolutionary lasts [the solid form around which a shoe is molded], which supporting the arch, make the foot act like an inverted pendulum."
This may have been his greatest contribution to footwear: the secret of how to make a beautiful shoe with a comfortable fit; the perfect combination of form and function.
In 1927, Ferragamo moved back to Italy, where he founded his eponymous shoe company in Florence. By the 1950s Salvatore Ferragamo had 700 employees who produced one shoe each per day, entirely by hand. He invented the invisible sandal in 1947 and the stiletto heel in 1955, both classics in women's footwear; but his most famous invention is perhaps the "Cage Heel".
Before he died in 1960, Salvatore Ferragamo was the most influential shoemaker in human history. He said he was inspired by architecture and art. Ferragamo was a visionary artist who created over 20,000 models of shoes and held 350 patents. In the words of the artist:
"Normally I do not institute new fashions.
There are a number of dress and shoe designers who struggle to be different for the sake of being different, meaning that they want to impose a startling new fashion line upon the woman. But if designers must wait for their customers to become conscious of new styles who, then, determines fashion? The answer is: new fashion begins in the mind of the designer. He must not stifle all his ideas merely because the world is not yet ready for them. I have no season."
The Salvatore Ferragamo Company has 450 stores in 55 countries. Let us take a look at the products.