Monday, July 9, 2007

Salvatore Ferragamo

Salvatore Ferragamo (June 5, 1898 - August 7, 1960) was a 20th century Italian footwear designer, providing Hollywood's glitterati and many others with unique hand-made designs and spawning an emporium of luxury consumer goods for men and women, with stores in some of the most important cities of the world. Ferragamo started his career in California during the 1920s, initially creating specific designs for Hollywood productions.

The Company, Salvatore Ferragamo Italia S.p.A., founded in 1927, is one of the most prestigious and internationally known luxury brands, with more than 450 stores in over 55 countries. Footwear, handbags and small leather goods, scarves and ties, men's and women's ready to wear, bijoux, watches, fragrances and eyewear are the products created and marketed by Salvatore Ferragamo.

Salvatore Ferragamo was born in 1898 in Bonito, near Naples, Italy, the eleventh of 14 children. After making his first pair of shoes at age nine, for his sisters to wear on their confirmation, young Salvatore decided that he had found his calling. He always had a passion for shoes. After studying shoemaking in Naples for a year, Ferragamo opened a small store based in his parent's home. In 1914, he emigrated to Boston, where one of his brothers worked in a cowboy boot factory.

After a brief stint at the factory, Ferragamo convinced his brothers to move to California, first Santa Barbara then Hollywood. It was here that Ferragamo found success, initially opening a shop for repair and made-to-measure shoes, which soon became prized items among celebrities of the day, leading to a long period of designing footwear for the cinema. However, his thriving reputation as 'Shoemaker to the Stars' only partially satisfied him. He could not fathom why his shoes pleased the eye yet hurt the foot, so he proceeded to study anatomy at the University of Southern California.

After spending thirteen years in the United States, Ferragamo returned to Italy in 1927, this time settling in Florence. In 1927 he returned to Florence and began to fashion shoes for the wealthiest and most powerful women of the century, from the Maharani of Cooch Behar to Eva Peron to Marilyn Monroe. In 1929 he opened a workshop in the Via Mannelli, concentrating his efforts in experimenting with design, applying for patents for ornamental and utility models and some related inventions. Forced to file for bankruptcy in 1933 due to bad management and economic pressures, Ferragamo nonetheless expanded his operation during the 1950 to a workforce of around 700 expert artisans that produced 350 pairs of hand-made shoes a day.

Ferragamo was always recognized as a visionary, and his designs ranged from the strikingly bizarre objet d'art to the traditionally elegant, often serving as the main inspiration to other footwear designers of his time and beyond. Salvatore Ferragamo died in 1960 at the age of 62, but his name lives on as an international company, which has expanded its operations to include luxury shoes, bags, eyewear, silk accessories, watches, perfumes and a ready to wear clothing line. At his death his wife Wanda and later their six children (Fiamma, Giovanna, Fulvia, Ferruccio, Massimo and Leonardo) ran the Ferragamo company.

His most famous invention is arguably the "Cage Heel". Fiamma (Salvatore's eldest daughter prematurely died in 1998) inherited her father's inimitable talent and came up with the "Vara pumps" in 1978.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Friday, July 6, 2007


Prada, S.p.A. is an Italian fashion company (also known as a "label" or "house") with retail outlets worldwide.

The company, originally known in Italy as "Prada Brothers", was founded in 1913 by Mario Prada in Milan. In 1978, Mario's granddaughter Miuccia Prada inherited what was still a leather goods business from her mother, and led the company's expansion into couture with an overall more bohemian style. Miu Miu is a second line of clothing, often simpler and evokes a continual image of high-end vintage items. It was followed by the Prada Sport 'Linea Rossa'
Currently Prada is considered one of the most influential clothing designers in the fashion industry.

Following the lead of other companies in a popular trend to absorb as many other fashion houses as possible, Prada took on large debts when it acquired the financially foundering Rome-based house of Fendi in the early 1990s. Prada assumed shares in Fendi with the Moet Hennesy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) company. Prada was unable to turn around/support the money-losing Fendi label, and sold its Fendi shares to LVMH. Prada is still recovering from this debt.

The Prada Group's other notable purchases in the 1990s were the Helmut Lang and Jil Sander labels. By 2006, however, both labels had been sold. Jil Sander was sold to the private equity firm Change Capital Partners, which is headed Luc Vandevelde, the chairman of Carrefour, while the Helmut Lang label is now owned by Japanese fashion company Link Theory. In May of 2007, Prada joined forces with cell phone maker LG Electronics to create the LG Prada (KE850) phone. It retails for $800.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Sergio Rossi

Sergio Rossi is a leading Italian fashion designer and distributor of women's shoes and handbags, as well as a limited range of men's shoes. Gucci Group now owns 100% of the company as of 2004. In 2003 Sergio Rossi stands with operating over 41 stores internationally, with 5 locations in the United States; New York, Bal Harbour, Beverly Hills, Costa Mesa, and Waikiki.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Monday, July 2, 2007

Sunday, July 1, 2007


It is impossible to estimate at exactly what phase in development on earth that man first thought of protecting his feet from the natural hazards of weather/climate and the rough ground that they walked on. Shoes are very interesting to analyze because they have a long history. It is obvious that shoes were made for the shielding of feet but aside from their actual purpose, shoes can help to tell the story of the person who wore them. Shoes can help tell the economic and social status, values, and styles of the owner. By looking at a pair of shoes one can see that they reflect the personality of the wearer. The shape in which the shoe is in can help tell how the wearer stands and walks (it gives us a strong indication of personality) (Colin Dowell). Shoes also show character by showing how the individual reacts to fashion. In addition, one can tell whether the wearer of the shoes and the shoes themselves are in style by looking at the quality of the materials that the shoes are made from. Furthermore, by looking at the monetary value, brand name of the shoes, and the condition of the shoes (whether they are old or new) can help tell about the owners' fashion styles.

These Greenbelt shoes tell their own story as they have traveled between four to six decades. By looking at the shoes, viewers can create their own ideas of what shoes like these meant to the owner. By looking at shoes like these, the viewers may become more interested regarding their personal value, price, and how they differ from other shoes between 1937- 1945. So keep on reading and you'll find out some of the answers to these questions.