Massimo Ferragamo sees the world by way of design.
He likes clear traces, open areas and plenty of lighting. He listens to music by Moby, is fascinated with iPods and doesn’t perceive fashionable artwork.
As the chairman of Ferragamo USA, one of many world’s premier luxury shoe and apparel trend homes, Ferragamo is as traditional in his look as in his enterprise style, and design is foremost on his mind.
“The design is so necessary as a result of it highlights the product,” says Ferragamo, who heads the corporate’s presence in the United States.
He was in Houston final week to open the first Ferragamo store in Texas on the Galleria, close to Neiman Marcus and throughout from Emporio Armani.
There are 20 Ferragamo shops within the United States and Canada, and more than 200 worldwide. Last year, he opened the world’s largest Ferragamo store — 22,000 square ft — on Fifth Avenue in New York.
The Galleria store gives a full line of Ferragamo’s ready-to-wear assortment for men and women, in addition to leather-based equipment and footwear. Saks and Neiman Marcus will continue to hold a limited selection of Ferragamo products.
The store has a vibrant and trendy really feel, which makes Ferragamo proud. It’s part of the corporate’s new worldwide boutique idea designed by a brand new York architectural firm. “Our stores are way more open and more lighted now, with walnut furnishings and wooden floors. The world at the entrance was extra cluttered; now it is open and inviting.”
Ferragamo anticipates the design will appeal to new customers and hopes they are going to be surprised at what they discover.
“I think it is a special Ferragamo than they think about,” he says. “There continues to be the mindset that Ferragamo is too classic sometimes, but the fact is totally different. We now have the challenge of developing every season with one thing that’s fashionable and traditional. That’s the edge we strive to keep in the present day.”
At forty six, Ferragamo is the youngest of six children to Salvatore and Wanda Ferragamo. It was Salvatore Ferragamo who started the family shoemaking enterprise at age 15 in Italy.
“My father was considered one of the first folks to make use of the shoe to spotlight a woman’s body and persona. He created for the primary time the shoe as a real true accessory. Before it was seen as one other utility merchandise.”
Ferragamo began working in the household firm at age 12 placing footwear into bins. He was paid by the box, so he tried to work as fast as attainable. The subsequent 12 months, he helped ship Ferragamo footwear world wide. Ultimately, he discovered methods to make them.
“I am proud to say I might do a shoe as we speak. I am unsure you’d want to wear them. It’s unbelievable how they make a shoe,” he says.
Ferragamo studied regulation on the University of Florence however left the program at age 25 to take part in an government coaching program at Saks Fifth Avenue. He enjoyed working in the retail style business a lot that he by no means returned to legislation college.
In 1985, Ferragamo grew to become the president of Ferragamo USA and was appointed chairman in 2000.
His siblings and mother, now 83, are nonetheless concerned in the company.
“My father all the time envisioned an organization that would have all the things to dress a lady or a man. When he handed away in 1960, we have been solely doing ladies footwear. However we hopefully fulfilled his vision and have continued so as to add products under the Ferragamo name.”
The males’s line was began in the 1970s with shoes, then moved into classic outerwear and jackets.
The girls’s line continues to alter. “What women symbolize at present just isn’t what they represented once we started the line. Before, a woman at 30 did not thoughts looking 30. As we speak, the 60-yr-old wants to look like the 50-year-old who desires to look just like the forty-year-previous. So the 60-yr-previous and 30-year-old look much more alike. That is why we speak about model and feeling, not age group.”
In 1999, Ferragamo paid $54,000 for rhinestoned-covered crimson stilettos sneakers worn by Marilyn Monroe in Gentleman Want Blondes. The actress favored Ferragamo sneakers and would order as many as 30 pairs at a time.
“We’ve got the original invoice. She paid simply $54 back then. That exhibits you ways a lot Ferragamo retains its value.”
The company produces almost 5,000 footwear every day, and boasts annual sales of more than $650 million. But, being the youngest in a family business can nonetheless have its challenges.