“Italy in Hollywood” is the latest exhibition to open at the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence. The new show will celebrate the years the house founder spent in Santa Barbara, Calif., ministering to the 1920s and ’30s stars of the silver screen. Actors from Joan Crawford to Rudolph Valentino were regulars at Ferragamo’s Hollywood Boot Shop on Hollywood Boulevard, earning the designer the nickname “Shoemaker to the Stars.”
Aptly, then, this year’s incarnation of the “Ferragamo Creations” capsule collection is dedicated to such famous feet. The limited-edition line features reproductions of shoes made for the stars.
There is the Foxtrot, a graphic T- bar sandal created for Crawford; the Assoluta, a double-strap pump in cream suede created for Mary Pickford and the Bella, a pump in black brushed-calfskin with a dramatic contrasting nappa leather bow. Contrary to the name’s current associations, (that of supermodel Bella Hadid) the Ferragamo Bella was worn by Gloria Swanson.
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There are also two lace-up oxfords and a pair of riding boots worn by Valentino. Without the original lasts to work from, the shoes have been meticulously crafted with reference to sketches, patents and photographs of the time, preserved in the Ferragamo archives in Florence’s Palazzo Spini Feroni. However, more fascinating still is the timeless nature of the styles and how seamlessly they slot into a contemporary wardrobe.
The exhibition opens May 24 and runs through March 10, 2019. All the shoes will be displayed in the exhibition and retail concurrently.