The late Salvatore Ferragamo — “shoemaker to the stars” — famously shod actresses Mae West, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Joan Crawford. He first traveled to California in 1915, leaving behind his hometown of Bonito in the Campania region of Southern Italy. Ferragamo returned to Italy in 1927 and set up his namesake company in Florence. Ninety years later, the company is marking this milestone with an exhibition at the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, called “1927 The Return to Italy.” Open to the public, it will run from May 18, 2017 to May 2, 2018.
The exhibit will include shoes created in the 1920s, as well as artworks by Mino Maccari, Alberto Martini, Ernesto Michahelles (Thayaht), Ottone Rosai, Giacomo Balla, Giò Ponti and Fortunato Depero, reflecting the designer’s connection with his artist contemporaries.
The show “explores the various elements of Italy’s 20th century visual culture, taking from it the themes and works of art that directly influenced or indirectly informed the poetics of Ferragamo’s creations without overlooking the many cultural and social aspects that characterized the post-WWI period up to the eve of the Fascist regime’s authoritarian rise,” said the company. There will be garments and and fabric from the era, finely crafted artistic objects, photographs and advertisements. The exhibit is curated by Carlo Sisi and designed by Maurizio Balò. A catalogue is published by Skira.
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“1927 The Return to Italy” follows the exhibit “Across Art and Fashion,” unveiled in May 2016 and closing on April 7, which explored links between two creative realms that mutually influenced each other over centuries. Among the pieces on display: a Salvatore Ferragamo pump inspired by the 1950s work of American artist Kenneth Noland; an Elsa Schiaparelli dress designed in collaboration with Salvador Dalí in the 1930s; a Piet Mondrian-inspired Yves Saint Laurent dress; a Hussein Chalayan wooden corset; and a dress realized by Undercover Creative Director Jun Takahashi.
The Museo Salvatore Ferragamo is located at the historical Palazzo Spini Feroni, which also houses the company’s headquarters, and harks back to the 13th century.