An enchanted world of resplendent colors is revealed in an ancient palace a few meters from the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. In the brand-new Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, an exhibition celebrates the silk scarves that made the Italian luxury house famous. From the earliest creations to the latest collections, the tour – designed as a virtual walk through the rooms of the Spini-Feroni palazzo – traces the history of the art of silk, a material that the house appropriated in the 1970s at the initiative of Fulvia Ferragamo, the founder’s daughter. From sketches to photos of scarves worn by celebrities, the exhibition highlights the combination of creativity and the mastery of ancestral skills that make Salvatore Ferragamo’s luxurious creations so special.
Salvatore Ferragamo, a luxurious Italian bestiary
While the art of silk is the focus of this retrospective, the exhibition also pays homage to the history of a house that will soon be 100 years old and to the vision that inspired its founders. Now an emblem of Italian luxury, the house owes its name to Salvatore Ferragamo (1898-1960) who took his first steps in fashion by designing and offering luxurious, modern and unique leather shoes. During the “Trente Glorieuses” (1945-1975), the clothing and fashion industries boomed, and Salvatore Ferragamo decided to diversify his brand and designed his first collection of silk scarves. When her father passed away, Fulvia took over the creative reins and made the silk scarf one of the prestigious brand’s signature products.
From the 1970s on, Fulvia Ferragamo developed a new aesthetic, ornamental and colorful, which still characterizes the Italian house’s silk scarves today: wild animals mingle with exotic flowers in an explosion of sparkling colors; and the scarf, which has become a fashion accessory as precious as it is joyful, can be viewed like a real painting. The motifs fascinate, subjugate, captivate, in a journey where nature seems to come alive. The exhibition showcases this “bestiary” of luxurious prints inspired by flora and fauna, with which Ferragamo has made its mark.
From oriental art to 20th-century paintings to ancient botanical books, Ferragamo’s creative world is full of rich and captivating references. It is a veritable laboratory of inspiration that is highlighted in the exhibition, as is the seemingly simple, yet conceptually complex creative process behind a silk scarf. Once put to paper, these reproductions are retained in the archives and some are displayed among the scarves in the Ferragamo Museum. A beautiful way to tell us the story of a perfect union between creative intuition and craftsmanship.
“Seta/Silk” at the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum
Palazzo Spini-Feroni, Florence
Discover the virtual exhibition