Shoe History: Salvatore Ferragamo’s Homage To Andy Warhol

Nearly 30 years since his passing, Andy Warhol’s influence continues to march on. The legendary pop artist served as the main inspiration for Salvatore Ferragamo’s recent fall ’16 men’s footwear collection.

The shoes, which debuted on the runway during Milan fashion week in January, reference a custom pair of Ferragamo shoes owned and worn by Warhol — shoes he often wore while creating his art.

Lined with sheared fur that was dyed a saturated blue or orange, the new leather lace-up oxfords were lightly dripped with multicolor paint splatters — a vision that came from Ferragamo’s creative director Massimiliano Giornetti.

salvatore ferragamo fall 2016 mens shoes
Salvatore Ferragamo fall ’16 men’s collection.
CREDIT: Courtesy Image.

The inspiration dates back to a magical case of shoe fate. In 2006, the Ferragamo family bought back the artist’s shoes — the only men’s shoe ever designed by Ferragamo himself — at an auction. When they recovered them, paint from Warhol’s works had been splattered all over the shoes, adding a new historical element to an already-priceless artifact.

The new version, boldly modern with its colored fur lining, is a slight update to a similar paint-splattered style Ferragamo released in 2010. Plus, the brown leather here seems appropriate — Warhol even had a whole series of shoe illustrations titled “I Dream of Jeannie With the Light Brown Shoes.”

salvatore ferragamo fall 2016 mens shoes
Salvatore Ferragamo fall ’16 men’s collection.
CREDIT: Courtesy Image.

For years, designers have been referencing Warhol, who died in February 1987 at age 58. Recent collections that come to mind also include Christian Dior’s fall ’13 women’s collection, where Raf Simons used the artist’s early drawings as a recurring print. That same year, Miuccia Prada used Warhol’s pop art daisies as motifs on mink coats.

The influence has trickled down into the mainstream as well, with brands like Converse creating recent capsule collections based on Warhol’s punchy prints.

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