Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A.

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Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A.
TypePublic (società per azioni)
Founded1927; 96 years ago (1927) in Florence, Italy
FounderSalvatore Ferragamo
Number of locations
447 (2022)
Area served
Key people
RevenueIncrease 1.136 billion[1] (2021)
Increase 143.480 million[1] (2021)
Increase 81.137 million[1] (2021)
Total assetsDecrease 1.010 billion[1] (2021)
Total equityIncrease 785.879 million[1] (2021)
OwnerFerragamo Family (65%)[2]
Number of employees
3887[1] (2021)

Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A., rebranded in September 2022 as Ferragamo, (Italian: [salvaˈtoːre fɛrraˈɡaːmo]) is an Italian luxury goods company headquartered in Florence. It specializes in designing and manufacturing footwear and leather goods, which together account for over 86% of its revenue.[1][3] The remaining products include ready-to-wear, silk products, fashion accessories, and licensed eyewear, watches, and perfumes.[1] It operates 447 mono-brand stores worldwide as of September 2022.[4]

The company was founded in 1927 by Salvatore Ferragamo in Florence, Italy. It went public on the Milan stock exchange in 2011, but the Ferragamo family has remained majority shareholders with approximately 65% stakes in the company.[2] British designer Maximilian Davis has been the creative director of Ferragamo since March 2022.[5]



Palazzo Spini Feroni: The headquarters of Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A. in Florence

In 1915, Salvatore Ferragamo emigrated from southern Italy to the United States to join his siblings who had already emigrated to the U.S.[6] He briefly worked at Thomas G. Plant Shoe Factory in Boston, Massachusetts, before moving to Santa Barbara, California, to join his brothers.[6] He opened the Hollywood Boot Shop in 1923 and made shoes for movie stars, such as Joan Crawford and Gloria Swanson, as well as for films, such as Cecil B. DeMille's feature film The Ten Commandments.[3][7]

Following his success in California, Ferragamo returned to Florence, Italy, in 1927 to incorporate his eponymous label and open a factory to produce his shoes, due to a lack of artisan shoemakers in the U.S.[8] His factory combined the city's artisanal techniques with the efficient production system of American factories, which became a training ground for apprentices.[8]

As a result of the Great Depression and the company's reliance on businesses in the U.S., Ferragamo struggled financially and filed for bankruptcy in 1933.[9] By 1938, he had recovered financially and purchased Palazzo Spini Feroni in Florence, which has housed the company's headquarters, flagship store, and Salvatore Ferragamo Museum since.[7][10] In 1948, the company opened its first directly operated store in the U.S. at 424 Park Avenue in New York City.[11]

Wanda Miletti Ferragamo, wife of Salvatore Ferragamo and former CEO of Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A.

Death of Salvatore Ferragamo[edit]

Salvatore Ferragamo died in August 1960, leaving control of the growing company to his wife, Wanda Ferragamo.[12] She expanded its operations to include silk scarves, fragrances,[13] leather handbags,[14] ready-to-wear, and small leather goods.[15]

Recent developments[edit]

Despite several changes of leaderships and growth, the company remained privately held by the Ferragamo family until it went public on the Milan stock exchange in 2011.[2] As of 2022, members of the Ferragamo family remain majority shareholders with approximately 65% combined stakes in the company, which is chaired by Leonardo Ferragamo, the fifth son of Salvatore and Wanda Ferragamo.[2]

Marco Gobbetti, former CEO of Burberry, has been the CEO of the company since January 2022, succeeding Micaela le Divelec, who led the company since July 2018.[16]

On March 14, 2022, British designer Maximilian Davis was named new creative director in an effort to revitalize Ferragamo's ready-to-wear line.[5]

In September 2022, in an effort to modernize the brand, Salvatore Ferragamo was rebranded as "Ferragamo" (stylized as FERRAGAMO) and debuted a new logo ahead of its SS23 show during Milan Fashion Week. The show was the first under the creative direction of Maximilian Davis and was met with generally favorable responses, with critics noting the modernized tailoring.[17] Davis described the collection as being about "ease and sensuality".[18]


Salvatore Ferragamo store in Ginza, Tokyo
Salvatore Ferragamo Fall 2011
Shoes on display in Salvatore Ferragamo Museum

Throughout its history, the company has been known for innovative designs and use of materials; in California, Salvatore studied human anatomy in effort to make more comfortable shoes. Notable innovations include the wedge heel; the shell-shaped sole; the ‘invisible’ sandal; metal heels and soles, made famous by Marilyn Monroe; the 18-carat gold sandal; the sock-shoe; sculpture heels; and the gloved arch shoe, created for the Maharani of Cooch Behar in 1938.[7] The company is also known for its ‘Gancini’ decoration, the ‘Vara’ patent ballet pump, the Salvatore bag, and its use of patchwork.[7]

Footwear and leather goods are the focus of the brand, representing over 86% of its revenue in 2021.[1] It also has an extensive range of women's and men's footwear, from formal, evening, to leisure wear.[19] Men's footwear is manufactured using several techniques, including lasted, tubular, stitched, and "Tramezza" stitched welting.[19] Leather goods, such as handbags, suitcases, belts, and wallets often feature the distinctive and signature "Gancino" clasp, which was originally designed as a handbag fastening.[20] The company also offers made-to-order products for customers seeking unique designs not found in stores.[19]

Other products include men and women's ready-to-wear[21] and the brand's signature silk products, including ties, foulards, pocket square, and scarves.[22] Ferragamo fragrances are produced and distributed by Inter Parfums, Inc. through an exclusive licensing agreement.[23] The company also produces licensed eyewear and Swiss-made watches in partnership with Marchon and Timex Group. In 2014, Ferragamo began adding NFC tags to their products in an effort to discourage counterfeits.[24]


Salvatore worked with film stars and celebrities from his earliest days in Hollywood. Clients over the years included Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, and Greta Garbo, as well as Andy Warhol, Seulgi, Grace Mugabe, Princess Diana, and Namal Rajapaksha.[7] The company made handbags for Margaret Thatcher[25] and boots for Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck during his coronation on November 6, 2008, in Thimpu, Bhutan.[26]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Annual Report 2021" (PDF). Retrieved September 9, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d Barbaglia, Pamela; Cristoferi, Claudia (October 21, 2020). "EXCLUSIVE-Ferragamo family explores stake sale to drive Italian fashion brand revamp - sources". Reuters. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Chevalier, Michel; Mazzalovo, Gerald (2012). "3". Luxury Brand Management (2nd ed.). Singapore: John Wiley & Sons. p. 53. ISBN 978-1-118-17176-9. OCLC 909366849.
  4. ^ "All Salvatore Ferragamo Stores". Salvatore Ferragamo. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Yotka, Steff (March 14, 2022). "Maximilian Davis Takes the Top Job at Ferragamo". Vogue. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Emigration to the United States". Salvatore Ferragamo. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Salvatore Ferragamo celebrates its 80th Anniversary in Shanghai" (PDF). Salvatore Ferragamo Italia SpA. Retrieved April 20, 2008.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ a b "Arrival in Florence". Salvatore Ferragamo. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
  9. ^ "The Wall Street crash and bankruptcy". Salvatore Ferragamo. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
  10. ^ "Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A. is founded, and Ferragamo begins the process of buying Palazzo Spini Feroni and Palagio". Salvatore Ferragamo. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
  11. ^ "Salvatore Ferragamo opens its first New York store". Salvatore Ferragamo. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
  12. ^ "Salvatore Ferragamo's death". Salvatore Ferragamo. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
  13. ^ "A silk scarf by an artist". Salvatore Ferragamo. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
  14. ^ "Magazine articles about the first Ferragamo bags". Salvatore Ferragamo. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
  15. ^ "Continuous production of accessories and men's apparel begins". Salvatore Ferragamo. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
  16. ^ Conti, Samantha (June 28, 2021). "Marco Gobbetti to Step Down From Burberry, Join Ferragamo as CEO". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
  17. ^ "Ferragamo Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear Collection". Vogue. September 24, 2022. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  18. ^ "Ferragamo Enters Its Sexy Era Under Maximilian Davis". Highsnobiety. September 24, 2022. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  19. ^ a b c "Salvatore Ferragamo Footwear". Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
  20. ^ "Salvatore Ferragamo Leather goods". Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
  21. ^ "Salvatore Ferragamo Ready To Wear". Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
  22. ^ "Salvatore Ferragamo Accessories". Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
  23. ^ "Salvatore Ferragamo eyewear-watches and parfumes". Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
  24. ^ Donaldson, Tara (March 11, 2016). "Ferragamo Adds RFID Tags to Shoes and Bags to Fight Fakes". Sourcing Journal. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  25. ^ Cartner-Morley, Jess (March 29, 2008). "From Florence to Shanghai, Ferragamo eyes a makeover". The Guardian. Retrieved April 20, 2008.
  26. ^ "Ferragamo boots for King of Bhutan". Italy Magazine. November 17, 2008. Retrieved September 29, 2022.

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