Tonight in Florence, Italy, Pitti Uomo got off to a flying start with Ferragamo’s menswear runway debut, Paul Andrew’s first collection in his recently appointed role as creative director across the whole of the brand. It made sense, he said, to show this first collection in his label’s home city as it also emphasized the fact that almost every garment and accessory is made here in Italy’s Tuscany region.
The spring 2020 collection also demonstrated Andrew’s vision for his label’s menswear: “a new new relaxed ease in tailoring a lot of work with leather ready-to-wear and really embracing color.”
For Andrew, it’s the antithesis of the current men’s market. “I’m appalled by the state of menswear today,” he told FN. “If you look around in luxury designer stores all you find is hoodies and jeans and T-shirts with logos emblazoned on them. That is definitely not my approach to bring Ferragamo forward.”
Rather, here are six ways in which he celebrated his house’s heritage and updated its codes for both its current client base and a new generation alike.
The prints on the shirts and parachute overalls in the collection were inspired by Florence’s famous Neptune Fountain, the restoration of which the house has recently funded. The show itself was staged in its shadow in the historic Piazza della Signoria.
TRADITION WITH A TWIST
Andrew updated Ferragamo’s classic bench-made Tramezza leather shoes with rubber soles finished in a sneaker factory. “We made the uppers in a traditional shoe factory and then sent them to a sneaker factory to be finished so the sole is made in the same way as a sneaker,” Andrew told FN. “So you’ve got the look of a luxury shoe and the comfort of a trainer.”
DRIVING IT FORWARD
While Ferragamo followers will no doubt recall that a few seasons back Andrew had his women’s heels painted using a spray technique borrowed from the automobile industry, his all new sneaker soles were fashioned to resemble the tires of cars. Many of the looks were inspired by a mechanic’s overalls and just to drive things home, the soundtrack featured Gary Newman’s “Cars.”
MEET THE ROLLS ROYCE OF ESPADRILLES
Resoundingly chunky of sole, it came with both leather and canvas uppers. However, this more casual vibe also has its roots in the Ferragamo archives, which feature many shoe styles exhibiting rope detailing.
BIG IN JAPAN
Another key shoe in the collection, a suede sock teamed with a wrap-up sandal, was based on an archival look from 1951 (the Ferragamo archive contains some 15,000 shoes). Andrew explained that the house founder had visited Kyoto in Japan. “He saw the Geishas wearing socks with those wooden clog sandals and he came back and designed this incredible shoe,” he enthused.
AN ECLECTIC MIX
The show’s eclectic cast included Factory Records art director Peter Saville, famous for his sleeve designs for Joy Division and New Order, Hollywood actor Josh Lucas and British actor, model and Ferragamo ambassador, the 22 year-old Hero Fiennes Tiffin, who closed the show. “I wanted to bring it back to Hollywood where Ferragamo was born,” Andrew noted, continuing that the multi-generational casting was a reflection of his house’s customer base.