“Hollywood was calling; the future was calling.” – Salvatore Ferragamo

Salvatore Ferragamo was the eponymous founder of the Italian apparel and accessories label, who first found fame designing shoes for Hollywood stars in the 1910s and 1920s. The brand’s Hollywood connection is still strong, with a new campaign ‘100 years, 100 days’ and a flagship recently launched to commemorate Ferragamo’s arrival in Hollywood in a particularly fitting way.

The campaign captures the sweep-me-off-my-feet feel of old Hollywood, with photos and quotes from Ferragamo illustrating the founders’ Art Deco (and other) inspirations and rise as shoemaker to the stars. His passion for shoemaking and exceptional craftsmanship is inherent, as is the brand’s close ties with the film industry, which continue to this day.

Ferragamo’s clients when he first arrived in Hollywood included Mae West, Audrey Hepburn, Cicil B. Demille and Joan Crawford. Ferragamo continues to sell the iconic Audrey ballet shoe, which was designed for Audrey Hepburn in 1954. Marilyn Munro was another ardent Ferragamo follower; “she owned dozens of pairs, each with a simple design and not one without a stiletto heel.”

Fast forward to today and the brand’s Hollywood legacy continues, with Ferragamo’s original Hollywood sirens joined by modern-day A-list beauties. The Hollywood connection has also shaped the brand’s image over the years. Day 12 of the campaign is dedicated to illustrating the environment where Ferragamo’s designs were showcased, “where the service and sheer sense of bon vivant left his customers feeling like they had entered a rarified movie set.”

The company’s partnership with Hollywood is fitting and is obviously one that’s beautifully steeped in tradition. But not only that, Ferragamo’s passion for making beautiful (and comfortable) shoes. Massimiliano Giornetti, Salvatore Ferragamo’s creative director says: “Salvatore was interested in beauty and functionality. What he made was real shoes for real people – even if those people happened to be fabulous.”

Image attribute/source: Salvatore Ferragamo /

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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