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February 3, 2017
Paul Andrew On Updating Salvatore Ferragamo’s Footwear
When the dapper young English shoe designer Paul Andrew arrived at Salvatore Ferragamo in Florence last summer to take on the role of designing the ninety-yr-previous house’s shoes, he had only one thought: Everyone wears a sneaker right now. Looking at the kind of inventive, brilliant, and generally even plain crazy ideas stylebop ferragamo wedges that Signor Ferragamo dreamed up when he shod just about every 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, as an illustration, or the 1947 Invisible sandal, whose barely seen threads strapped the foot to a gold metallic child-leather-based heel—Andrew’s remark 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 could create essentially the most comfy and essentially the most fabulous shoes.”
While you attempt on a few of Andrew’s new designs (which, oftentimes, riff on the old), you’ll discover that he has succeeded in ticking each the previous and latter containers. There’s his update on the curvaceous 1940s F wedge, rendered as an ankle-strap pump or bootie in rose velvet or violet suede (molding those materials onto the heel, by the way in which, takes two labor-intensive days). The basic 1978 Vara stylebop ferragamo wedges bow pump now rests on a golden striated columnar heel galvanized in a automotive factory. 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; choose Salvatore Ferragamo boutiques.
Each of them has had its construction reconfigured—a completely different set of proportions for the instep, arch, and across the toes; reminiscence foam, for the first time, in each shoe. “People are way more involved in sports today, so their ft have modified,” Andrew says, including with each a chortle and a trace of grimace: “The pure collagen of our ft is about half of what it was, 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 both a mid- or larger heel. Both look equally comfortable—and cool—but as to whether 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 consider the home on his frequent flits to and from Florence (he makes the trip no less than a few occasions a month, generally extra). “It’s distinctive not only because of its design panorama, but because inside, Ferragamo is only Ferragamo; it’s family-owned,” he says, although the household has given Andrew carta bianca to do no matter he wants—and offered him with the artisanal know-the way to make it happen.
Andrew possesses a preternaturally calm demeanor and had already been visiting Italy too much to supply his own label, so he and his long-term boyfriend are used to the schedule—but the extra constant to-ing and fro-ing has meant getting into a brand new rhythm of life. What has helped has been the distractions Florence and its environs have been in a position 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 Monastero close to 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 superb branzino cooked in salt.” In more ways than one, it appears, he’s getting his toes below the table in Florence.