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Celebrating Salvatore Ferragamo's success

The excellence of Made in Italy, where humility meets with perseverance

Celebrating Salvatore Ferragamo's success

Claudia Astarita

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Salvatore Ferragamo - founder of the today well known fashion house - was a cobbler who moved to the United States to start his new business in the early 1900s. He first started in Santa Barbara (California), opening up a shop called the "Hollywood Boot Shop". It was a time of great development of the cinema industry in loco and Salvatore soon became the VIPs cobbler. His fame as the "good Italian artisan" grew more and more and it was the result of Ferragamo's skills and attentive choice in the use of materials.

After attending some courses of anatomy at the University of Los Angeles, Ferragamo further improved his shoes. He introduced the cambrione, a steel support that helped distributing the weight in an even way, making the shoe not only more beautiful but also very comfortable. In spite of the great achievements, the lack of skilled collaborators and the high production costs forced Ferragamo to go back to Italy to continue his job. In 1927 he opened his first shop in Florence and launched the first brand "Ferragamo's creation Florence Italy" mainly concerning women shoes. But again, the 1929 economic crisis stopped Ferragomo's activity and he was forced bankrupt.

Nonetheless, this second interruption did not discourage the Italian artisan: a few years later in 1938, he came back to the market with the same enthusiasm of the beginning. This "second rebirth" came along with Ferragamo's most famous invention: the cork wedges. This ever green shoe model granted Ferragano his worldwide success and - after Florence - he soon opened new branches in Rome, New York and London.

After Ferragano's death in 1960, the company was run by the wife Wanda and the five children and started a broader production. In fact, in 1970 the men's collection was launched and from the 1980s mainson Ferragamo started its ascent in Asia, with new branches Hong Kong, Japan, China and Korea.

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