“The World Is A Work Of Art”: Ferragamo’s Spring/Summer Line

Salvatore Ferragamo, Italian-born shoe designer extraordinaire, cut his teeth in 1920s Hollywood, rubbing elbows with the most stylish celebrities of the day. Working from a small shop and creating made-to-measure footwear, Salvatore earned himself a reputation as “Shoemaker To The Stars,” though this considerable success did not satisfy him. Obsessed with an inherent problem in his shoemaking—the fact that his shoes looked beautiful but were painful to wear—he went on to study anatomy at the University of Southern California.

It was only after his return to Italy, following a thirteen-year sojourn in the United States, that Ferragamo began to settle into his true calling. Working with the wealthy and powerful elite of his home country, Ferragamo opened a workshop in the Via Mannelli and began designing shoes for the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Eva Peron. He was also responsible, in the 1930s, for reviving and reimagining the platform shoe in the modern world. (The style was first popular in Italian culture in the fifteenth century; the Zoccoli, as it was known, was designed to keep feet dry when pavements flooded!)

Salvatore Ferragamo passed away in 1960, but the company remains a family-owned business operating under the umbrella of LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy). And his family is a large one; due to a company rule that no more than three family members can work for the label at a time, the competition amongst his widow, five children, twenty-three grandchildren, and numerous other relatives has been fierce over the years.

Perhaps it’s this spirit of competition that keeps the brand on the cutting edge of fashion, as is evident with this year’s Spring/Summer line. The concept for this line is “The World Is A Work Of Art”; Italian tradition meets innovative vision in each garment, seemingly catapulted straight from the world of fine art, with its richly coloured and textured oil paintings, onto the runway.

As we’ve seen with so many other labels this season, this is not the summer for pale pastels. Think jewel tones and saturated hues; a berry-esque shade of crimson is the focal point of the line, at least when it comes to colour.

The real centerpiece of the line is the use of the brand’s iconic (yet unofficial) logo. The double-hook design, according to the Museo del Marchio Italiano, first appeared on one of the purse designs in 1958, and is a motif that has appeared on numerous products since. Supposedly, says the museum, Ferragamo was inspired by the gate of Palazzo Spini Feroni when it came to designing the simple shape.

In the Spring/Summer line, the hook is everywhere. The Adjustable and Reversible Gancini Belt makes use of the design in its clasp:

Casual loafers also get a little (unofficial, yes) logo love:

A slightly dressier usage comes in some hardware on these dress shoes:

And, in perhaps our favourite iteration, the simple design is used to give casual white summer sneakers a touch of character:

This line is all about bringing artistry and glamour to business attire; this is how you dress to impress for summer meetings, keeping it formal while still acknowledging the casual, laissez-faire attitude of summer.