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SHOEMAKER to the Stars

In Florence there is a year-long exhibition celebrating Salvatore Ferragamo and his Hollywood years. Rachael Martin goes along to take a look

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

The new Salvatore Ferragamo exhibition Italy in Hollywood opened in May this year at the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in the medieval Palazzo Spini Feroni in Florence. Italy in Hollywood charts the shoe designer’s years, first in Santa Barbara and then in Hollywood, from 1915 to 1927. During this time Ferragamo would move from being Ferragamo the shoemaker to securing his position as shoemaker to the stars.

Walk into the exhibition and the impression is that you’re entering a cinema set of the Hollywood silent movies – sound did not arrive until 1927 with The Jazz Singer. Ferragamo’s relationship with the movie industry unfolds like the plot of a good film, and all the various characters you might expect to meet are here: the directors, the film stars, the artists and the musicians.

Salvatore Ferragamo at work in 1955
Photograph © Archivio Foto Locchi Firenze
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About Italia!

The Dolomites are a popular summer retreat for many Italians. We’ll show you how walking takes precedence over the winter activities we usually associate with this beautiful region. We also visit the secret green spaces of Italy’s cities, perfect oases if you are taking a summer city break. And we visit Matera, a city once known as ‘the shame of Italy’ but now set to become the European Capital of Culture.