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Salvatore Ferragamo

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FM 116                                                                                

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1. Salvatore Ferragamo

663 Fifth  Avenue


Salvatore Ferragamo was born in 1898 in Bonito, Italy, the eleventh of fourteen children.Even before his adolescence, he revealed a great passion for shoes. At age 11, he was apprenticed to a shoemaker in Naples. At age 13, he opened his own shoe shop in Bonito.

At age 14, he went to America and joined one of his brothers , who worked for a large footwear company in Boston. He then moved to Hollywood when the cinema industry was entering its prime. Salvatore began to design and make cowboy boots for westerns as well as sandals for the historic  Roman and Egyptian epics. Actors and actresses began aware of the beauty and craftsmanship of these shoes. They began to order footwear from Salvatore to wear off set as well. His first clients included Mary Pickford, Rudolph Valentino, John Barrymore, Douglas Fairbanks, and Gloria Swanson. Salvatore was in search for the perfect fitting shoes, began study human anatomy , engineering , and mathematics at the University of California in Los Angeles.

Salvatore Ferragamo became famous by servicing his clients and opened his first Ferragamo Retail store “ The Hollywood Boot Shop” in 1923. From the beginning company was focusing on offering impeccable service to their clients which has been a part of the Ferragamo world since the beginning.

The Ferragamo’s founding date is 1927 when Salvatore Ferragamo returned from Hollywood and settled in Florence.In 1930 Futurist painter Lucio Venna produces Ferragamo’s first advertising and designs the label for Ferragamo’s creations.

In 1938 Ferragamo was able to purchase the entire 13th century historically significant Palazzo Spini Feroni. The company headquarter remain in Florence in 13th century Palazzo Spini Feroni, one of the world historically significant Renaissance building in Florence.

In the post-war period, the shoes of Salvatore Ferragamo became a worldwide symbol of the italy that was returning to life.

Salvatore married Wanda Mileti in 1940 and they had six children, sons Ferruccio, Leonardo, and Masimo and daughters Fiamma, Giovanna and Fulvia. All of Salvatore kids eventually will become a part of the family business.

The Ferragamo family owns 75% of the company. The company went public in 2011. Most of Ferragamo products produced in Italy, with the exception of watches and licensed product. Ferragamo is vertical brand. The company believes in direct control of the products. Everything with name Ferragamo produced and distributed by Ferragamo. Distribution includes a worldwide network of close to 606 personalized shops in over 90 countries.

Salvatore Ferragamo’s Vision today. Luxury once meant being a world apart. Until 70s luxury was limited by social status and only accessible to few. Today luxury communicates to a wider public and offer a wide variety of “icon” products, especially in accessories. Today luxury means, “ Being desirable”.

The Ferragamo brand identity comes from the world of craftsmanship. It is build on the importance of materials and handmade artisan workmanship. The brand also represent creativity and innovation that is of timeless elegance.

Some of Ferragamo’s famous creation

In 1947 Ferragamo receives in Dallas the Neiman Marcus Award for his” invisible” sandals.

In 1949 he creates the first calf and pony-skin bag.

In 1951 Ferragamo takes part in the first italian fashion show, in Florence , with a sandal “Kimo” for the Schuberts models.

In 1954 for the actress Audrey Hepburn, Ferragamo creates one of his most famous styles: a suede ballerina with a strap.

In 1956 Ferragamo creates an 18-karat gold sandals for an Australian customer.

In 1955 Florentine painter design the first Ferragamo silk scarves, forerunners of those produced in the 70s.

In 1996 Ferragamo makes shoes for Madonna when she plays the title role in “Evita”.

In 1999 Salvatore Ferragamo Pour Homme is launched

Company Revenues in 2013 broke down as follows:

22% North America

12% Japan

25% Europe

37% Asia

5% Latin America

Interviewer Profile

It was interesting to find out what’s going on behind the limestone facade of 663 Fifth Avenue Ferragamo. The company created six floors of boutique office space. The office floors share a central atrium and a dedicated side-street lobby. Ferragamo uses the fourth floor and parts of the fifth floor and parts of the sixth floor for its own offices and showrooms. It was a great opportunity for us to meet Mrs. Evelyn Vasquez , Director of Merchandising for Women’s Shoes and look behind some of Ferragamo’s “door”. We had chance not only to speak to Mrs. Vasquez but also view Fall/2015 shoes collection.

Salvatore Ferragamo Director Merchandising-Women’s Shoes, from February 2003 to present. Prior to her career at Ferragamo she was a buyer in Takashimaya New York from January 1998-February 2003. She graduated with BA (Marketing) from University of Rhode Island in 1994.

2. Evelyn Vasquez the Director of Merchandising for Women's Shoes

3. a. I had the pleasure of interviewing the Director of Merchandising  for Women's shoes in her show room at Salvatore Ferragamo's main office. While in conversation with her she informed me that Salvatore Ferragamo is a small company mostly ran by family and that they just recently went public this year. The company's market position is an Italian Luxury goods company selling everything from womens and mens shoes and clothing, accessories like silk scarves, sunglasses and belts; though they are not number one in sales compared to other business but they are number one and in sale and profits within their company maximizing their goals.



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