From Massimiliano Giornetti to Fulvio Rigoni to Paul Andrew, Salvatore Ferragamo’s women’s ready-to-wear category has changed leadership frequently in a short amount of time. Its latest Creative Director, Andrew, who formerly headed the brand’s footwear department, has been tasked with defining its new identity. To his credit, he wisely tapped into Salvatore Ferragamo’s footwear archive, which contains more than 15,000 designs, for Spring/Summer 2019 and returned the focus squarely back to the brand’s greatest strength. Just as some women prefer to create their outfits of the day by starting with the shoes first, Andrew approached his latest collection by building on a literal footwear foundation, without neglecting the needs of ready-to-wear.
Spring/Summer 2019’s first look spoke to one element of Salvatore Ferragamo’s new identity: a return to sturdy classics. Out came 47-year-old Stella Tennant – one of Britain’s hottest exports in the 90s – in a plain tee and handkerchief-hemmed leather skirt. The first half of the show relied on simple pairings done in handsome Tuscan neutrals. There were trenches, khaki walking shorts, and streamlined silk suits. There was nothing fussy and nothing weird, but nothing especially innovative emerged from this line-up.
It wasn’t until about halfway through the show that the clothes became more design-y. Experimentation yielded more youthful ensembles, like asymmetrical layered separates, printed dresses trapped beneath net overlays, leather suits cut like pajamas, soft sheer trousers, and glossy black leather coveralls. A little something for everyone.
The real story here, however, was the shoes – the item that the brand first cut its teeth on back in the 1930s. Did you know Ferragamo invented the platform? The wedge heel? The cage heel? The brand’s footwear legacy is unmatched. A dip into its massive archives yielded a reimagined version of its classic ‘Vara’ bow pump, as well as a wide-ranging variety of corkboard platform sandals, perforated leather booties, and sculptural heels. Unfortunately, the incredible details of Salvatore Ferragamo’s footwear selection are difficult to see in pictures, so you’ll have to trust us when we say that this is a point well worth rejoicing about.