Ferragamo’s Massimiliano Giornetti pays tribute to the brand’s 100-year Hollywood heritage.
“Inspiration comes from everywhere, but I always begin my process with an exploration of Salvatore’s original designs,” says Creative Director Massimiliano Giornetti.
In 1915, before Salvatore Ferragamo became the luxury lifestyle brand that Washington’s chic set swear by today, a 16-year-old shoemaker with a flair for the experimental emigrated from his home in Bonito, Italy, to California by way of Boston—and women’s shoes have never been the same. It wasn’t long before Ferragamo’s superior craftsmanship and boundary-pushing designs were recognized and coveted by Hollywood’s glitterati, including celebrities like Mae West, Joan Crawford, and Audrey Hepburn, for whom he created bespoke footwear.
“Salvatore Ferragamo was a pioneer and one of the first designers to recognize the potential of the Hollywood legacy,” says Creative Director Massimiliano Giornetti, who joined the house as menswear designer in 2000 and took over the women’s lines in 2010. (After Ferragamo’s death in 1960, his wife, Wanda, expanded the brand to include eyewear, perfume, belts, scarves, bags, watches, and ready-to-wear.) In the beginning, it was the founder’s innovative ability to juxtapose European avant-garde with Hollywood glamour and industrial ergonomics that drove his success—and that of the eponymous brand that followed. His early shoe designs—like the cork wedge and the “invisible” sandal—are as iconic as the women for which they were created.
Ferragamo’s designs continue to inspire: the young shoe designer Edgardo Osorio is re-imagining those same pieces originally intended for the heroines of the silver screen in a capsule collection for the brand. The result of a collaboration with Giornetti, Edgardo Osorio for Salvatore Ferragamo brings a contemporary sensibility to Ferragamo’s iconic designs from the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s with a mix of patterns and materials, from polka-dots to feathers.
Combining cutting-edge ideas with 100 years of heritage is clearly at the company’s core. “Salvatore Ferragamo created a legacy of innovation and glamour, of timeless elegance, discovering comfort in beauty that is carried through the brand today,” says Giornetti. It’s a mission that endures. “Ferragamo is a unique language of design and craftsmanship left to be reinterpreted, translated through the joie de vivre of the Italian way of life,” he says. “Inspiration comes from everywhere, but I always begin my process with an exploration of Salvatore’s original designs that even today resonate as iconic hallmarks of the evolution of fashion.” CityCenterDC, 202-289-6610