In 1961, Fiamma Ferragamo, a petite, raven-haired beauty from Florence, presented her first shoe collection in London. She was 20 years old. Having spent the latter part of her teens apprenticing with her father Salvatore Ferragamo, at the time nicknamed “Shoemaker to the Stars”, it was no surprise the premiere was met with rave reviews. Over 50 years later, a collection named for the late fashion icon, Fiamma by Salvatore Ferragamo, has made its debut.
“Fiamma Ferragamo carried on her father’s legacy to wardrobe women head-to-toe in designing the first handbag collection for the house, as well as the iconic Vara pump,” Massimiliano Giometti, Ferragamo’s creative director, explains. The symbolic double Gancio handbag clasp and wide grosgrain bow adorning a toe are just two details that have become synonymous with Ferragamo design. Giometti aimed to pay tribute to the details in launching the new tribute handbag for fall 2014. “The Fiamma embodies the energy and elegance of its namesake. Playful elements in the design culminate in a feminine quality that reflects the Ferragamo woman,” he says.
The Fiamma’s semi-circular silhouette with a sophisticated top handle sets the stage for quiet luxury in the new collection of five varying sizes. Butter-soft calfskin, pony hair, python and crocodile skins are just some of the mixed materials that add whimsy—and an appropriate amount of chutzpah—to each bag. Fiamma was known for her innovative business acumen as well as her own conservative style. A limited edition miniature style of the Fiamma pays homage to the new generation of the tight-knit Ferragamo family and plays with mixed media such as two-tone fox fur, Swarovski crystals and even stingray details. “Ultra-sophisticated design and unique construction reflect the inherent DNA of Ferragamo’s legacy,” says Giometti. “Through the harmonious mix of exquisite materials, cross generational elements continue to evolve the youthful and innovative spirit.”
The Fiamma also pays homage to generations of the tightly knit Ferragamo family who have created a storied, global brand with what Salvatore began in made to measure shoes. Fiamma’s first outing as a designer for the Italian fashion house came just a year after Salvatore’s passing. Fiamma led the company’s expansion into handbags and small leather goods, while developing their shoe production for worldwide distribution. Alongside her mother Wanda, two sisters, and her three brothers, Fiamma was integral to creating what we know of the Ferragamo name today.
Ferragamo has an uncanny ability to look back while looking ahead with reverence for the brand’s heritage. It’s a balance not unknown in the fashion industry, but the Italian house always comes back to family. Ferragamo produced a series of film vignettes to coincide with the launch of Fiamma. Created to recognize women and families for their inherited legacies, each short film features interviews with international families and their female generations. Sydney Tamiia and Anika Poitier, Mariel and Langley Fox Hemingway, Jacqueline Beaurang, and Stella, and Lola Monte Schnabel are just some of the women captured for the series.
On the beautiful grounds of the 16th century Roman Palazzo Ruspoli, a palace nestled in the heart of Rome, one such vignette was filmed. Patricia Ruspoli, wife of the late Alessandro Principe Ruspoli—9th Prince of Cerveteri and inspiration for Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita—sits next to her daughter Melusine, surrounded by ancestral portraits. “She has his elegance,” she says. “She’s herself.” A statement true of fashion’s own royalty, Fiamma Ferragamo, as well.