Ferruccio Ferragamo’s memories on a family that became a brand

Ferruccio Ferragamo’s memories on a family that became a brand

It’s interesting to read about the memories of Ferruccio Ferragamo. The manager (77 now, in photo Imagoeconomica), goes through the life of his father Salvatore, who started in Irpinia to become a shoemaker appreciated in two continents, and in the end create a multinational enterprise with his family. He also showcases the transformation of a footwear company into a lifestyle brand.

Ferruccio Ferragamo’s memories

“My father Salvatore started with nothing – he says to Il Corriere della Sera –. He didn’t get good grades in school qnd he used to say that 4 months of break from school in Summer were too many: I was 10. He brought me to Palazzo Feroni, where there was a warehouse from where shipments departed. He told me to nail the crates used to ship shoes. He was making about 80 pairs per day”. Seeing the shoes was just the beginning: “They were all different – he continues -. This is how he used to do it: he would look at the client while keeping their feet in his hands. He studied anatomy to study the structure of feet. He was a creative genius and a psychologist. I observed him and saw the different models being born, I was 10 and wasted everybody’s time”.

When he passed away

It was August 7th 1960 when Salvatore Ferragamo passed away. “When he died, nobody among us (brother and sisters) was of working age – says the president of the holding controlling the brand -. At the time we were only making women’s shoes, 50% of which tailor made”. The course of history was altered by the mother, Wanda Miletti. “She invented a new company, beyond shoes. Fiamma dedicated herself to handbags, Giovanna to apparel, Fulvia jewelry, silk and ties, Leopardo to foreign markets and men’s shoes, a segment in which we were soon becoming number one within the high-end segment. Massimo focused on the USA”.

And Ferruccio?

The first activity of Ferruccio Ferragamo was “fixing the roofs of Palazzo Feroni, full of unsold shoes coming from our 12 stores. My mother promised me 10% of the sales’ value”. The activity brought a cultural intuition: “I brought on two workers, and they told me: nobody makes these shoes anymore, let’s save a few pairs. Thanks to them, we started building our archive and museum”. After that, Ferruccio started focusing on logistics. “I rewarded a young kid, named Primo, who was a part-time delivery driver taking half the time other people were. I asked him to manager shipping and brought on a revolution: he became head of the warehouses in New York and Hong Kong too – he concludes -. He is from Florence, where quality control is. Now he is retired, and I hired his daughter Lucia: she is quick like him”.

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