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Walking Dreams - Salvatore Ferragamo 1898-1960



Walking Dreams - Salvatore Ferragamo 1898-1960

Apre il nuovo Museo Milavida




Couture shoes to Museo Milavida


Couture shoes by the premier shoe designer of the 20th century, Salvatore Ferragamo, will be on display for the first time in Finland

The exhibition Walking Dreams – Salvatore Ferragamo 1898–1960 will open on the 12th of June in Museo Milavida, Tampere.  Forty of Ferragamo’s most important creations will be on display until January 10th 2016.


The eleventh of fourteen children, Salvatore Ferragamo was born in 1898 in Bonito, a small village 100 kilometers from Naples. Even as a child, Salvatore showed a great passion for shoes: at the age of 11 he was apprenticed to a shoemaker in Naples and at 13 he opened his own shop in Bonito.


When he was 16, he travelled to America to join one of his brothers who were working for a large shoe factory in Boston. Salvatore was fascinated by the modern machinery and production processes but he also saw how they could limit product quality. In the early twenties he moved to Santa Barbara, California, where he opened a shoemaking and repair shop. California was an exciting place to be at that time with the new film industry booming. Salvatore began designing and making shoes for the movies.

When the movie industry moved to Hollywood, Salvatore Ferragamo went with it. In 1923 he opened the ‘Hollywood Boot Shop’, which marked the start of his career as ‘shoemaker to the stars’, as he was defined by the local press.

In 1927 Ferragamo decided to return to Italy and chose to settle in Florence, a city known for its many skilled craftsmen. From his Florentine workshop – in which he adapted the assembly line system to his workers, highly specialized and strictly manual work – Salvatore launched a constant flow of exports to the United States.

Then came the great crisis of 1929, which abruptly brought business with the US market to a standstill and forced the company to close. However Ferragamo did not lose heart, instead he turned his focus to the domestic market.


Despite the economic sanctions against Mussolini’s Italy, it was during this time that Ferragamo turned out some of his most popular and widely-imitated creations, for example his strong yet light, cork ‘wedges’. In 1938 these successful creations enabled him to pay the first instalment for the purchase of all of Palazzo Spini Feroni, which has been the company’s headquarters ever since. In 1940 he married the young daughter of the local doctor in Bonito, Wanda Miletti, who joined him in Florence and would bear him six children.


After the war, Salvatore Ferragamo’s shoes came to be known around the world as a symbol of Italy’s return to life, design and production. The years that followed saw many memorable inventions: the stiletto heels with metal reinforcement made famous by Marilyn Monroe, the gold sandals and the invisible sandals with nylon thread uppers, for which Ferragamo won the prestigious ‘Neiman Marcus Award’ in 1947, the fashion world’s equivalent of the Oscar, marking the first time it was bestowed on a shoe designer.

When Salvatore Ferragamo died in 1960 he had achieved his lifelong dream: he had designed and made the most beautiful shoes in the world. He left it to his family to carry on and fulfil another dream that he had nurtured in his final years: transforming Ferragamo into a great fashion brand.




Data: DA Ven 12 Giu 2015 a Dom 10 Gen 2016

Ingresso : Libero


Museo Milavida, Tampere