Designer Salvatore Ferragamo Italian

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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, 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 local Florentine straw manufacturing industry inspired Ferragamo to utilize the material for shoe uppers when he returned to Italy in the late 1920s. Raffia soon became a favored material for the designer, joined by a synthetic raffia called "pontova" in the later 1930s. Ferragamo employed various techniques for his straw and raffia work, including weaving, braiding, crochet, and embroidery. Here, the woven raffia is complimented by crocheted cotton cord, amplifying the nautical summer effect of the shoes.

"Valle", Salvatore Ferragamo (Italian, 1898–1960), straw
Straw, cotton, Italian

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