Incorporated in 1927, Salvatore Ferragamo Italia S.p.A., is the parent company of the florentine Ferragamo Group, one of the world’s leading fashion brands in luxury goods. The group is active within the creation, production and distribution of shoes, leather goods, able to wear, silk products and accessories, as well as fragrances for women and men. The product range also includes eyewear and watches manufactured by licensees.
4 Locations4.1 Italy
- North America
- Latin America
Salvatore Ferragamo emigrated from southern Italy to Boston after which California in 1914. He opened the Hollywood Boot Shop in 1923, and made shoes for movie stars such as Joan Crawford and Gloria Swanson, in addition to for films corresponding to Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments. He returned to Italy and set up a shoe shop in Florence in 1927. However the modern shoemaking company regards 1928 as the date of its foundation and so is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2008. Salvatore filed for bankruptcy in 1933, during the great Depression, but by 1938 he was ready to buy the Palazzo Spini Feroni, one in all the great palaces of Florence, which now houses the company’s flagship store and museum.
The corporate flourished after World War II, expanding the workforce to 700 craftsmen producing 350 pairs of hand-made shoes a day. After Salvatore’s death in 1960, his widow Wanda took over the running of the business and expanded its operations to include eyewear, perfume, belts, scarves, bags, watches, and a ready to wear clothing line.
The corporate is currently owned by the Ferragamo family, which in November 2006 included Salvatore’s widow Wanda, five children, 23 grandchildren and other relatives. There’s a rule that only 3 members of the family can work at the corporate, prompting fierce competition. To ease these tensions, in September 2006 the family announced a plan to float 48% of the company on the stock market, and since October 2006 Michele Norsa has served as managing and general director. However, as of January 2008, this plan could also be on placed on hold within the midst of the downturn within the financial market. If the listing on the stock market proceeds, the fund will be directed primarily towards building its positions in China. The corporate is holding its 80th birthday exhibition in Shanghai.
Throughout its history, the corporate has been known for innovative designs and use of materials. Such ingenuity goes back to Salvatore’s time in California, when he studied anatomy to make shoes which were more comfortable. Notable innovations include the wedge heel, the shell-shaped sole, the ‘invisiblesandal, metal heels and soles, the 18-carat gold sandal, the sock-shoe, sculpture heels, and the gloved arch shoe created for the Maharani of Cooch Behar in 1938. Metal-reinforced stiletto heels were made famous by Marilyn Monroe.  The corporate can also be known for the ‘Gancinodecoration, the ‘Varapatent ballet pump, the Salvatore bag and using patchwork.
Salvatore Ferragamo has had directly controlled operations in this key country because the early 70s and might now count on a distribution network of 64 directly controlled points of sale. It has two flagship stores, one in Ginza in Tokyo, and the brand new flagship in Osaka, opened in October 2004. 27 percent of its revenue in 2005, 575m euros, came from Japan.
- Wanda Ferragamo Miletti: has sled the group since 1960, when her husband and founder of the company, Salvatore, died. She is currently Honorary Chairman.
- Ferruccio Ferragamo: he’s currently President of the company.
Michele Norsa: Managing and General Director of Salvatore Ferragamo Italia S.p.A.
- Giovanna Gentile Ferragamo: she is currently Vice President of Ferragamo Finanziaria S.p.A.
- Leonardo Ferragamo: since 2000, he has served as CEO of Palazzo Feroni Finanziaria S.p.A, the family’s holding company.
- Massimo Ferragamo: he is Chairman of Ferragamo USA, the Ferragamo company that has handled the brand’s distribution in North America since Fifties.
- Fulvia Visconti Ferragamo: has run the fashion label’s silk accessories division for the reason that Seventies. She is Vice-President of Salvatore Ferragamo Italia S.p.A.