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Salvatore Ferragamo born in 1898 at Bonito a village about one hundred kilometres from Naples shows when still a child a great passion for shoes: when eleven he becomes apprentice to a shoemaker in Naples and at thirteen opens his own shop. At fourteen he leaves Naples for Boston to live with his brother and work in a big shoe factory where he is fascinated by the modern machines and working processes, but at the same time he is concious of the lack of quality. He begins therefore, thanks to his creativity and originality, to make shoes for the film industry. In the meantime in order to produce “the perfectly fitting shoe “, he studies anatomy, chemical engineering and mathematics at the University of Los Angeles.
FIRENZE - When the film industry moves to Hollywood, Savatore Ferragamo decides to follow and begins his career as shoemaker of the stars in his shop Hollywood Boot Shop.  The American workers however, are not capable to make the shoes that he designs and in 1927 Ferragamo decides to return to Italy and arrives in Firenze where the artisans are famous for the their ability. His workshop exports continuously his shoes to America and he becomes the pride of the manufacturing industry. In 1929 however, the economic crisis stops his dream and the American purchasing power so the stylist decides to point to the Italian market and opens two workshops and a shop in Palazzo Spini Feroni. These are the years of sanctions against Mussolini's Italy, years in which Ferragamo produces some of his most popular and imitated creations, such as cork platforms. Solid and light. Wood, metal wire, raffia, felt and synthetic resins similar to glass are the other innovative materials he uses with creativity to substitute leather and steel that the autarchy prohibited him to use.
POST WAR SUCCESS - In 1940 he marries Wanda Miletti and together they decide to live in Firenze and purchase the whole of Palazzo Spini , still today property of the Ferragamo family. After the second world war Ferragamo's shoes become a world wide symbol of the Italian nation that wants to start t to live, create and produce once more. These are the years of unforgettable inventions: stiletto heels strengthened with metals pieces worn by Marilyn Monroe, gold sandals, invisible sandals made of nylon threads that in 1947 gained the stylist the prestigious Neiman Marcus Award , the Oscar of the fashion world which for the first time is awarded to a shoemaker .When the stylist dies in 1960 his dream of creating the most beautiful shoes in the world has come true.

Dr. Alice Comunelli, specialist in Artistic Cultural Heritage Via Del Chiesino ,3 Civitella in Val di Chiana (Arezzo) mobile 3281140990 home 0575 443133  

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