Massimo Ferragamo is set to lead the upcoming Columbus Day parade in New York. The Columbus Citizens Foundation has announced that Ferragamo, chairman of the luxury Italian lifestyle brand, has been named Grand Marshal of the 75th annual Columbus Day parade.
Ferragamo, who divides his time between Italy and the United States, learned the shoe business from his father, Salvatore Ferragamo, who began the business in California in the 1920s, opening his own store in Los Angeles in 1923.
The parade, among the largest celebrations of Italian-American heritage and culture in the United States, will take place on Oct. 14, beginning at 11:30 a.m. As Grand Marshal, Ferragamo will lead dozens of marching bands and floats, and more than 100 marching groups up the Fifth Avenue parade route from 44th Street to 72nd Street.
In naming Ferragamo Grand Marshal, Columbus Citizens Foundation President Marian Pardo acknowledged his success as an Italian business leader and recalled his contributions to philanthropy and community service.
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The company is as well-known for its luxury products as its celebrity clientele. In its early days, it boasted a roster of movie star clients that included Marilyn Monroe, considered to be one of Salvatore Ferragamo’s muses. Other stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood that flocked to his store were Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Rodolfo Valentino. More recently, Angelina Jolie was spotted in a pair of white Ferragamo sandals on Labor Day.
His work also extended to the movie industry. Cecil B. DeMille asked Ferragamo to design the shoes for the 1956 film “The Ten Commandments.”
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