To celebrate more than 80 years of quality craftsmanship, the Florentine label Salvatore Ferragamo brings to Manila a replica of its iconic wedge – one of the most famous fashion inventions of the 1930’s. The memorabilia will be displayed at the Greenbelt 4 Lobby for the whole month of September.
What started out as the cork wedge, this most recognizable Ferragamo symbol has generated a number of new models over the years. The wedge today continuously evolves originating in an autarkic period to answer a specific functional need—that of replacing the steel plate Ferragamo had patented in the 1920s to support the arch of the foot.
“I started working with bits of Sardinian cork”, wrote Salvatore, “pressing it, gluing it, fixing and finishing it till the space between sole and heel was filled up.”
This was the birth of the wedge. The Duchessa Visconti di Modrone had the honor of launching the first pair. Within a few weeks it became Salvatore Ferragamo’s most popular model. The wedge enabled the creativity of an artist like Ferragamo to express itself on surfaces more ample than those of uppers and heel alone. He experimented with many variants on the wedge, both platform and heel, with layers pressed and rounded, sculpted and painted, decorated with bits of mirror glass like an antique mosaic or with floral patterned brass latticework spattered with stones. Such creations had more in common with contemporary design or with architectures such as the Chrysler Building in New York than with the fashion accessories of the moment.
The art of shoemaking remains to be a core identity of the brand. The principles guiding the company right from its start are handed down from generation to generation by the production department, which is trained in-house. From size and fit, shape, material, design to workmanship, the company has managed to maintain all technical principles inherited from its founder.
Quality workmanship and materials, attention to form and fit are still the fundamentals of the brand. The creation of shapes is a result of many days of calculations in regard to the model for each new line. Salvatore Ferragamo uses only the finest leathers, which guarantee flexibility and resistance to ensure comfort for the entire life of the shoe.
In footwear construction the arch plays a very important part. Salvatore Ferragamo has always made shoes with a stable arch, internally supported by a high-quality steel reinforcement. Each pair of shoes requires ten days to make, five of them spent in lasts. The production cycle consists of 134 stages, controlled and directed by specialized personnel. Many parts of the production process are still done by hand, such as modeling, leather cutting, and shoe mounting and joining.
Since the 1920’s Salvatore Ferragamo has been an international leader in women’s footwear design and production due to its fine craftsmanship. Shoppers will get the chance to appreciate more and understand how each pair of shoe is carefully created through an exclusive demonstration by an Italian craftsman in the Salvatore Ferragamo Store in Greenbelt 4.
Today Salvatore Ferragamo continues to lead in the world of shoe-making and producing iconic designs for women all over the world.
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