Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. R. L. Gilpatric, 1960
Not on view
Salvatore Ferragamo was the first manufacturer and designer to bring Italian shoes to the forefront of the footwear industry. Using his knowledge of American industrial methods gained during his stay in the U.S. between 1914 and 1927, Ferragamo availed himself of the skilled Italian labor pool to create a high quality, hand-made product for an international market. The designer's work is best known for its innovative use of materials, such as straw, raffia, cellophane, lace, and cork, and for the use of brilliant colors. Ferragamo pioneered the development of the wedge heel and platform sole in the 1930s. The Brooklyn Museum is fortunate to possess this example of Ferragamo's iconic "Invisible Sandal". A continuous length of nylon monofilament passes back and forth through holes in the insole to create the upper. The original buckled leather strap that would have fastened at the front of the ankle has unfortunately deteriorated. The use of metallic leather helps to dematerialize the remaining structure of the shoe. This under-cut wedge heel was a favorite of Ferragamo, and consequently became known as the "F-heel".