By: Zahra El-Sherbini
The four season’s First Mall has always been the most decent setting for fashion moments of pride and triumph, embracing only the luxurious worldwide designer brands, and recently it announced the arrival of the first Salvatore Ferragamo house in Egypt and Africa.
The store is totally devoted to an astounding collection of bags, small leather goods, scarves, accessories for both men and women and footwear fit for your most precious outings. The spring/summer 2010 collection is out and like millions of fans people are rushing to buy a timeless piece of artistic creation. But before owning a signature piece, you have to know a bit about where it came from.
Born in 1898 in Bonito near Naples, Italy, the ‘shoemaker to the stars’- including the Maharani of Cooch Behar to Eva Peron and the sizzling Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Lauren -knew that shoemaking was his ultimate passion in life since he was nine. His first client was his sister back when he drew the first shoe for her to wear on their confirmation. Later clients were Hollywood’s gleaming stars of the 1920’s. Even though he studied shoemaking in Naples, his journey to Hollywood wasn’t paved with pink roses. He moved from his small store, based in his parent’s home to Boston where his brother worked there as a cowboy boot factory. Not long afterwards he moved to California; first Santa Barbra then the dazzling Hollywood to open a repair and made-to-measure shoe shop that gathered the highlights of Hollywood,.
When considering Ferragamo’s work we are looking at something we can hop in and leave to.. literally anywhere with no prices to pay. Forget about swollen or blistered toes, never again will your feet pay a price that was just as costly as the shoe itself. Salvatore was always concerned about the aspect of comfort; he went really far to provide a comfortable delicacy in footwear creations. He proceeded to study anatomy at the University of Southern California in an attempt to get a better understanding of the human body and limb movement. Yes that was how far he went to make a women’s dream come true.
Salvatore won the Neiman Marcus Award in 1947 for his famous ‘Invisible shoe’. The cage and the wedge heels were the top of his work. He was from the very few artists that established an everlasting collaboration between fashion and cinema; the 11cm red-heeled reproductions that Marilyn Monroe wore in Some Like it Hot and his famous ‘ruby slippers’ that were worn by Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. His wedge heels in 5 layers of light green, gold, orange, magenta and burnt orange suede with gold leather straps is considered a historical piece.
Tragedy struck when Salvatore passed away in 1960 at the age of 62, the company was left to his wife Wanda and his eldest daughter Fiamma who was the only daughter to have worked with Ferragamo, both ladies decided that the company should start creating Ready-to-wear clothes for both men and woman. In 1998 Fiamma died leaving a strongly shaken up family and company. All was well again when the family experienced a rebirth with a brilliant advertising campaign that put the brand back on the map. Untill the current date, his family continues his legacy in the Hollywood world; Salvatore Ferragamo created Nicole Kidman’s shoe wardrobe for Australia.
Salvatore Ferragamo’s empire of hand-made footwear spans the entire world; with more than 450 stores in over 55 countries. Visionary and bizarre creations were behind many innovations such as the famous ‘wedge heel’ and the ‘cage heel’. His operations include shoes, bags, eyewear, silk accessories, watches, perfumes and a ready-to-wear clothing line.
Many celebrities were seen in Ferragamo inspirations; Demi More carried a dark golden leather clutch with a pink stone closure to the 82nd Academy Awards, Jennifer Lopez was also seen that day in a pair of light silver satin platform pumps. To the 67th Annual Golden Globe award, Cameron Diaz matched a pair of black satin peep-toe by Salvatore Ferragamo to a sexy red satin dress. Eva Mendes’s held a chocolate brown leather bag at the 66th Venice Film Festival. Salvatore Ferragamo wasn’t merely about bags and shoes; Madonna was seen in an ink blue fur coat with a fox collar to the screening of Tom Ford’s new film ‘A Single Man’, Jolie was spotted several times in a Ferragamo coat to keep her warm on crispy New York evenings.
Salvatore Ferragamo’s Spring/Summer 2010 ad campaign featuring the supermodel Claudia Schiffer was an honest promise that this spring is going to be his best spring ever. All the brilliant glamour that we needed was here; supermodels in what I can only assume as a doll’s room decorated in bright Easter colors and brilliant designer footwear.
My favorite ad poster was the one with Claudia seated on a purple chair with surrounded by wedges, flats, sandals and pumps only proving that a girl can never have too many shoes.
His ready-to-wear Spring/Summer collection was inspired by Africa; the show’s major highlights were delightful garments that evolved from plain white to yellow and pink. They were simple to create a free flow of a vision.
His Fall/Winter 2010 collection has already been shown at the Milan Fashion week, although not out in many stores yet we sneaked a peek to make sure you know where to shop for this winter.
According to Salvatore Ferragamo a Fall/Winter collection wouldn’t be one without leather and suede, TOGETEHR!! Yes for it was Salvatore’s collection that uniquely combined leather and suede outfits for all our winter outings; suede shirt dresses, sweater vests and frilly blouses, check trousers and many unique trench coats were seen on suede shorts and leather boots which created a look both chic and warm announcing that shorts are very ‘in’ this winter.
The arrival of the impeccable Italian brand to Egypt is counted as one of the many turning points that are happening in the Egyptian market. Understanding the long journey the brand had taken before reaching us makes us only glad that it finally did.
So ladies, if any of his shoes fit, BUY IT!
“I have divided the women who have come to me into three categories: the Cinderella, the Venus, and the Aristocrat. The Cinderella takes a shoe smaller that Size Six, the Venus takes Size Six, the Aristocrat a seven or larger”