Paul Andrew On Updating Salvatore Ferragamo’s Shoes
When the dapper younger English shoe designer Paul Andrew arrived at Salvatore Ferragamo in Florence final summer season to take on the function of designing the 90-12 months-previous house’s shoes, he had just one thought: Everyone wears a sneaker right now. Wanting on the kind of inventive, sensible, and sometimes even plain crazy ideas that Signor Ferragamo dreamed up when he shod nearly each Hollywood star in a position to stroll the length and breadth of the RKO again lot—the 1938 gold leather sandals resting on sky-excessive rainbow wedges, for instance, or the 1947 Invisible sandal, whose barely seen threads strapped the foot to a gold metallic child-leather-based heel—Andrew’s commentary would seem to run counter to every thing Ferragamo stood for. Not so, he says: “Salvatore moved to America in 1914, then studied anatomy in California in order that he may create the most comfy and probably the most fabulous sneakers.”
When you attempt on a few of Andrew’s new designs (which, oftentimes, riff on the previous), you’ll find that he has succeeded in ticking both the previous and latter packing containers. There’s his replace on the curvaceous 1940s F wedge, rendered as an ankle-strap pump or bootie in rose velvet or violet suede (molding those supplies onto the heel, by the best way, takes two labor-intensive days). The classic 1978 Vara bow pump now rests on a golden striated columnar heel galvanized in a automotive manufacturing unit. As for the Gancio—that iconic metal G-like motif—it punctuates the crisscrossing of multi-strapped satin sandals in dusky pink or cobalt.
G ForceThe iconic Gancio Motif—now gilded—is used to adorn a satin sandal, $895; select Salvatore Ferragamo boutiques.
Each of them has had its construction reconfigured—a different set of proportions for the instep, arch, and throughout the toes; memory foam, for the primary time, in every shoe. “People are rather more concerned in sports activities right now, so their toes have changed,” Andrew says, adding with each a chuckle and a hint of grimace: “The natural collagen of our ft is about half of what it used to be, which is why I had to add the cushioning.” (To underscore how the performative qualities of athletic sneakers run our lives now, he has also created a tech-knit sneaker, as well as an ankle boot that comes with either a mid- or increased heel. Both look equally comfortable—and cool—but as to whether or not you might sprint in them, who can say )
Andrew, who continues to work on his own assortment from his base in New York, his home for eighteen years, has had plenty of time to think about the home on his frequent flits to and from Florence (he makes the trip at least a few instances a month, typically more). “It’s unique not solely because of its design landscape, however because inside, Ferragamo is only Ferragamo; it’s family-owned,” he says, though the household has given Andrew carta bianca to do no matter he wants—and supplied him with the artisanal know-how one can make it occur.
Andrew possesses a preternaturally calm demeanor and had already been visiting Italy quite a bit to provide his personal label, so he and his lengthy-term boyfriend are used to the schedule—but the more fixed to-ing and fro-ing has meant entering into a brand new rhythm of life. What has helped has been the distractions Florence and its environs have been ready to offer: journeys to look on the Botticellis in the Uffizi Gallery (some of the paintings’ pink tones made it into the gathering); spending the weekend at the eleventh-century Castel ferragamo riem sale Monastero near Siena; or rolling up for dinner on the restaurant Fuor d’Acqua, where, says Andrew, “I don’t even look at the menu—they just deliver out this amazing branzino cooked in salt.” In more ways than one, it appears, he’s getting his feet underneath the table in Florence.