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Salvatore Ferragamo

Completed article: Ferragamo History
Salvatore Ferragamo is a shoe brand that pursues shoes that are easy to wear.
It is known for inventing designs that are still around today, such as sandals.
In fact, Ferragamo is a brand that once went bankrupt.
Let’s take a look at the history of Ferragamo, and how the company came back from the bottom.

The founder, Salvatore Ferragamo, was born in Italy. He was born with a natural interest in shoes, and at the age of eleven, he made his first pair!
Later, at the age of 15, he moved to the United States to train himself to make shoes that would not hurt feet.

At the age of 15, he moved to the U.S. and trained to make shoes that would not hurt his feet. In 1923, he opened a store in Hollywood.
In 1923, he opened a shop in Hollywood, where his “shoes that fit your feet” were highly popular among the movie industry. He was even known as the “Shoemaker to the Stars” as he captivated celebrities all over the world.

At that time, mass production was done by machine in the Hollywood workshops. The comfort of the shoes overwhelmed other brands, but Salvatore could not tolerate machine production because he was pursuing perfect shoes.

He decided to gather craftsmen in Italy and produce his ideal shoes by hand. Thus, after returning to Japan, Salvatore founded “Salvatore Ferragamo” in 1927.

The challenge in Italy
Salvatore’s experiment quickly spread around the world. Orders poured in from the upper class and movie stars. Even foreign department store buyers expressed their desire to sell Ferragamo’s products.
In Italy, the company was welcomed with open arms, and things seemed to be going well.

While customers and buyers accepted the company, the reaction on the ground was cold.
No matter where they went in Italy, Naples or Milan, they could not find a single craftsman who would agree with them.

At a loss, Salvatore’s last stop was Florence. It was here that he finally met someone who understood his ideas.
He welcomed more than 60 craftsmen with good treatment and managed to start making shoes.
He immediately took the finished samples to the United States. He showed them to the president of I. Miller Sons, a chain store specializing in shoes, who gave them a poor review.
He was kicked out of the store, saying it was stupid!

But he didn’t give up.
But he didn’t give up. Later that day, he called Manual Garton at Saks Fifth Avenue and went to show him the samples.
Garton was so impressed with Ferragamo’s shoes that he immediately placed an order worth thousands of dollars.
He also made a deal with Marshall Field’s.
Twenty-four hours after Miller’s cold response, he had closed the deal with both companies.
Undeterred by the difficulties, Salvatore managed to stay the course.

More difficulties
During this period, Salvatore designed “sandals” that are still worn to this day, and sales grew steadily.
However, an unforeseen situation occurred here.

To his surprise, the company he left behind in California was not operating at all!
The working capital was almost exhausted, and the investors were furious. The investors were so angry that they were thinking of withdrawing from the business. Salvatore was able to persuade the investors and the company succeeded in holding on.

However, problems also arose in Italy, where half of the 60 or so craftsmen quit!
The remaining craftsmen were being paid but not working.
Moreover, all of them were opposed to Salvatore’s ideas and stuck to their own ways. Since each of them had a completely different way of making shoes, it became impossible to make the same pair of shoes twice.
Cornered, Salvatore fired all the craftsmen.

The situation was desperate, but then he came up with an idea. He recruited young people and students who wanted to become craftsmen to work in his workshop.
Rather than having one person make one pair of shoes, he adopted a division of labor, dividing the work among different processes. As a result, the company was back to shipping products within a month.
The company began exporting its products to other countries, but did not sell them in Italy.
Most of the company’s sales came from exports.

Ferragamo’s bankruptcy
As it turned out, Ferragamo went bankrupt in 1933.
The company’s cash flow deteriorated because it did not remit profits earned in California to Florence.
Furthermore, the recession that occurred in 1929 caused the company to sell its Hollywood stores for free.
By not selling in Italy, the company suffered a huge blow to its business.

At this time, Salvatore borrowed money from lenders. He borrowed money from individuals, families, and all sorts of names, but the annual interest rate was exorbitant, exceeding 80%.
The annual interest rate was over 80%.

Revival from the bottom
After experiencing bankruptcy, Salvatore decided to rethink his strategy.

He rejected machine production and stuck to handmade products.
He had ignored the basic principles of business in favor of his commitment to shoes.

Realizing the importance of business, he used his failure to take immediate action.
Two days after the factory was shut down, he visited a lady to whom he had sold shoes in the past.
Two days after the factory was closed, he visited a woman to whom he had sold shoes in the past, and asked her to buy some shoes for him. Word of mouth spread and orders steadily increased.
Within a few years, the business had recovered and they resumed exporting to other countries little by little.
In light of the previous failure, we have not forgotten to sell our products domestically.

In 1938, five years after its bankruptcy, the company began selling its products in major developed countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom.
In Italy, the company had stores outside of Florence, and its popularity was growing both domestically and internationally.

The upper classes of many countries, such as Princess Elena of Italy, the princesses of Belgium, and even Mussolini, were captivated by Ferragamo.
The reason for this is Ferragamo’s fitting ability.
Wearing perfectly fitted shoes not only made feet less tired, but also had various other effects such as mental stability and skeletal correction.
Ferragamo’s shoes came to be known as “magic shoes.

During World War II, Ferragamo was forced to close its doors temporarily. But by 1950, the company had more than 700 employees and could produce 350 pairs a day.
However, Salvatore was concerned about this situation, so he finally turned to machine production.
Sixty percent of the production was done by machines, and the rest was done by a division of labor between machines and people. This strategy was a success, and Ferragamo’s products became available to a wider audience.

Salvatore’s death and his successor
Salvatore died in 1960, but before he died, he was thinking about the future of the brand.
He had his eldest daughter, Fiamma, in his atelier from the age of 15.
The main purpose was to train and interact with the craftsmen. By staying in the atelier for a long time, she succeeded in inheriting Salvatore’s sensibility.

He also sent his second daughter, Giovanna, to attend a fashion school.
She held a ladies’ collection in 1958. It was a huge success, with department stores creating special sections for it.
This was a stepping stone for the company to expand its product line beyond shoes and grow into a comprehensive apparel brand.
This strategy was successful, and the brand continued to expand even after Salvatore’s death.

The Ferragamo of today
In 1965, a handbag collection was launched by Fiamma, and in 1970, men’s shoes and menswear products were launched.
In 1970, Ferragamo began to offer men’s shoes and menswear, and it was during this period that the company’s flagship product, Valla, was born.
In 2001, Ferragamo Parfums was established. The following year, a new sneaker line was established.
Ten years later, the company was listed on the Italian Stock Exchange and is still alive in the luxury brand industry today.

The life of Salvatore Ferragamo, a craftsman
Salvatore was a man who led his brand to success in just one generation. He started his company in 1927, but before that, he had been successful in Hollywood.

He made his first pair of shoes when he was nine years old. He made shoes for his younger sister to be baptized in church.
His family was poor, so he could not afford to buy shoes. So I borrowed some tools from a shoe store across the street and completed the project without telling my parents.

From a young age, I wanted to make shoes, but my parents were against it.
But his parents were against it, because in those days, shoemaking was a lowly profession in Italy. However, when his parents saw his talent, they allowed him to train.

Thus, Salvatore began his training at a shoe store across the street. He grew to the point where he was in charge of making shoes by himself.
His brother convinced him to go to Naples and train in a famous store, but he finished his studies in just two weeks.
It was unthinkable for him to learn the most advanced technology in two weeks.

He said that he was “born to be a shoemaker. It is said that he was born with the knowledge of shoemaking.
Although none of his ancestors had anything to do with shoes, he already had the basics of shoemaking and the source of new designs in his mind.
All Salvatore learned was to watch the production process at the shoe store across the street (Luigi Festa) and the two weeks he spent studying in Naples.
It is said that at the age of 10, he could make shoes better than Luigi.

After returning to his hometown, Salvatore opened a store. His designs were so sophisticated that they could not be bought even in the city, and he soon gained a reputation.
He was satisfied with the shoemaking in his village, but there was a limit to the number of shoes he could make in a day.
When his brother saw this, he suggested that he go to the United States for machine production.
Thus, Salvatore went to the U.S. when he was only 16 years old.

He opened a store in Santa Barbara and quickly became a favorite of movie stars.
He went on to Hollywood, and the name Salvatore Ferragamo became famous all over the United States.

The ideal fitting
Ferragamo’s original shoes have a reputation for being comfortable to wear. This is due in large part to Salvatore’s passion and sense of style.

He was a genius at shoemaking, but the only thing he was not good at was taking measurements. To overcome his weakness, he began to study the foot.
To overcome his weakness, he began to study feet and attended a night university.
During the day, he would actually look at the feet of his customers, and at night he would study them. This is how he perfected the ideal fitting.

Through his research, he found out that the weight of the foot is placed on the ball of the foot.
By adding support to the treads, he succeeded in distributing the weight on the heels and the base of the thumbs. This also helps to maintain proper balance while walking.

The quality of Salvatore’s shoes is so high that the Romanian queen said, “My toes feel like they’re swimming. No one can take this freedom away from me.
In the first half of the 20th century, it was common for people to suffer from foot pain caused by shoes.
In this era, Salvatore shoes were a revolutionary item.

Ferragamo is a brand born in Italy. The founder, Salvatore, had been successful in the United States before establishing the brand.
He was a genius in shoemaking, and had made movie stars fall in love with him at the young age of a teenager.

However, his lack of business perspective led to a downturn in his business and he was forced into bankruptcy.
However, Salvatore’s passion for shoes did not stop at this level.
Within a few years, the company was revived and became extremely popular both in Japan and abroad.

He also took a proactive strategy by training his children early and sending them to fashion schools.
As a result, the company is now a successful general apparel brand.

Ferragamo’s pursuit of comfort in shoes has attracted people all over the world.
I am sure that they will continue to make shoes that fit our feet.

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