ART HOUSE It’s official: logos are out, craftsmanship is in. Salvatore Ferragamo is leading the way with its contemporary take on artisanal pieces. By Clare Maclean.
Last October, Salvatore Ferragamo flew out one of its artisans, Juri Cavallini, to launch the brand’s custom-made-shoe concept in Australia. For a few days, Cavallini sat at a small tool-laden table while shoppers watched him work. It was a smart move that acknowledged luxury’s thoughtful new direction. Last year, global management firm Bain & Company published a report announcing that logo fatigue was setting in among consumers. Instead, the report explained, increasingly fashion-savvy customers cared more about a brand’s heritage, where its products were made and how. This new mindset went on to infiltrate the Spring/Summer ’15 shows, where an emphasis was placed on traditional craftsmanship, and creative directors attempted to answer the question: how do you harness the concept of “uniqueness” in a globalised, 21st-Century world?
It’s the final day of Milan fashion week and I’m sitting in a room with Salvatore Ferragamo’s creative director, Massimiliano Giornetti, at the brand’s Milan office. This is merely the designer’s temporary headquarters, his actual home being in Florence, also the home of the Salvatore Ferragamo brand. I mention this because we are both currently poring over a jacket from the new collection that incorporates weaving, an art Tuscany has been famous for since the Middle Ages.
“I live in Santo Spirito on the left bank of Florence, which is the centre of artisanal tradition,” he says. “I still remember 20 years ago when I arrived there after my first year of university in Venice. In the piazza, people still weave with straw and other humble materials from the countryside.” Giornetti hasn’t incorporated straw into this particular jacket, but has instead played with an unexpected combination. “We’ve taken snakeskin and cut it into a very fine, almost thread, and woven it with the cotton. It looks very simple, but it’s not,” he notes.
It’s an approach he’s also taken with the brand’s accessories, the core of the Ferragamo business. Most significantly, Giornetti has chosen this season to reinvent the brand’s famed 1938 rainbow wedges. “I was really feeling the idea of re-exploring it – and it also occurred to me that the
Salvatore Ferragamo Spring/ Summer ’15
Statement accessories include reinvented wedges and fringed bags with Murano glass handles
The fresh palette features plenty of white and dove grey