In 1955, Salvatore Ferragamo introduced the now-iconic cage heel. And even 20 years earlier, he repopularized the platform heel with “The Rainbow” shoe made specially for the Wizard of Oz’s Judy Garland. Now, the late designer’s legacy is being honored by the house’s new women’s creative director, Paul Andrew, with the launch of his “hyper floreale” accessories collection.
While surveying roughly 15,000 archival designs (from over a 90-year period), Andrew discovered Ferragamo’s infatuation with nature and florals. Interested in modernizing this recurring motif, he transformed his own personal photographs—taken while perusing London’s Columbia Road Flower Market—into digital prints to be used in his new collection.
The peony, specifically—as seen in the reimagined "Vara" shoe, a 1978 original design by Ferragamo’s eldest daughter, Fiamma—is Andrew’s personal favorite. And not just for aesthetic reasons: “A floral whose lifespan can reach over 100 years," he told DEPARTURES, "Felt fitting to serve as inspiration for reinterpreting an icon at a storied Italian legacy house.”
To reflect the energy of the prints, Andrew used deliberate styling techniques and materials—and the effect is utterly contemporary: “Wrapped and tied, these prints on silk become abstract art,” he says.
So what's next for Andrew? Exploring new ways to reinterpret and honor the brand’s identity by incorporating his own: “Being a Britt living in New York with a design studio in Florence certainly serves as a strong foundation for a globally-inspired mindset.”
In celebration of the shoe and handbag collection, the brand is holding events at its newly expanded Michigan Avenue boutique in Chicago. The two-day experience (May 11-12) will offer complimentary portraits and bouquets (depending on the day) with any purchase. You can also shop the collection at other stores or online and share using #FlowerInvasion.