Salvatore Ferragamo celebrates 80th anniversary

Italian fashion house Ferragamo this year is celebrating its 80th anniversary. The company has recently seen great changes with its newly appointed creative director, Cristina Ortiz, who’s debut collection for the House will be shown during Milan fashion week. Ferragamo is further going ahead with a flotation as well as a new store concept that is in the works.

According to Womens Wear Daily, the Ferragamo family is preparing a retrospective called “Salvatore Ferragamo — Evolving Legend 1928-2008,” where 300 special creations by the shoe designer will be exhibited with original sketches and patents.

“My family and I chose China, and specifically Shanghai, to celebrate our company’s 80th anniversary at the prestigious Museum of Contemporary Art, given the country’s and the city’s rich history and tradition,” said Wanda Ferragamo, Salvatore’s wife and the firm’s honorary president. “This event is especially important to us because it is the first time that we present a retrospective not on Salvatore the man, but on the business he founded, its identity, innovations and values.”

A show of the autumn winter 2008 collection will take place on March 28 at a venue on the Bund along the Huang Pu River. The site will be decorated to resemble Ferragamo’s landmark Palazzo Spini Feroni, the medieval building in the heart of Florence where the company has its headquarters.

Ortiz has been researching Ferragamo’s rich archives and has found a new formula to resurrect a Ferragamo classic — animal prints. To avoid comparisons with other designers such as Roberto Cavalli or Dolce & Gabbana, she found a tiger print made with flowers, which she plans to make an ongoing signature. For fall, she enlarged it and applied it to a white, black and plum minidress.

“My Ferragamo woman isn’t a fashion victim or show-off but someone with a more modern and dynamic style,” said Ortiz. “For good or for bad, I hope this collection doesn’t leave people indifferent,” she told WWD.

Ferragamo has been credited with inventing the wedge, which he designed in 1938 for Judy Garland. During the second world war the company creatively expressed itself with humble materials such as cork and raffia. In 1949 the company added bags to its much-coveted shoe line and hasn’t looked back since.

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