There aren’t many brands that are as deeply intertwined with the rise of Hollywood as the Italian fashion label Ferragamo. Dubbed the “shoemaker to the stars”, Italian immigrant Salvatore Ferragamo started his brand in Hollywood crafting bespoke shoe designs which were equally stylish and comfortable for the stars behind the burgeoning film industry. Actors ranging from Judy Garland and Sophia Loren to Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe quickly became diehard fans. And as Hollywood rose to greater prominence on the global stage, so did Ferragamo.

Fast forward almost a century and Ferragamo has grown to encompass more than just shoes, with offerings of apparel, bags, accessories and more. Despite that, the Italian label continues to pay homage to its storied ties with Hollywood under the tutelage of its new creative director Maximillian Davis. 

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Photo: Courtesy of Ferragamo

For the uninitiated, Maximilian Davis is a British designer with Trinidadian and Jamaican roots. He was named the creative director in March 2022. Taking over the role at the age of just 26, Maximilian Davis’ keen eye for fashion had already garnered him celebrity fans including Rihanna, Dua Lipa and Kim Kardashian. 

Months later, Davis was ready to present his vision to the world through the Ferragamo Spring/Summer 2023 collection. To do so, Davis looked back into the brand’s history with Hollywood while seeking to further its narrative and aesthetics to the present day. “I wanted to pay tribute to Salvatore’s start by bringing in the culture of Hollywood – but new Hollywood. Its ease and sensuality; its sunset and sunrise.”

Davis’ touch begins with the fabric selection. Sheer knits, fluid silk and ethereal organza layers stand in contrast with Renaissance-inspired suede sandals and polished accessories, constructed in a manner which blends modern visuals with echoes of the Florentinian drapery of the past, further paying homage to Ferragamo’s Italian roots. 

Clothing flits between casual, beachfront insouciance and moments of fetishism with leathers, form-fitting silhouettes and micro shorts. Wardrobe staples like tank tops, polo necks and leggings are cherished for their simplicity while knits thread between skin-showing wide weaves and translucent fineness. Stately eveningwear is also given the same treatment. Crystals add Hollywood glitz and glamour across the pieces, made with Marilyn Monroe’s 1959 sparkling red Ferragamo shoes in mind. 

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Photo: Courtesy of Ferragamo

On the silhouette front, Davis’ collection modernises and feminises the classically masculine shapes of the eighties executives. The tuxedo, for example, has shirting made in silk organza or cotton poplin with collars or sleeves removed. The Wanda bag, released in 1988 and named after the late Ferragamo’s wife, is reimagined in new proportions. Wanting each piece “to stand on its own,” Davis said “I want each piece to feel playful, but also desirable as an object”.

Shoes and accessories also mirror the underscoring ethos of the house, taking cues from the past in the present, and revitalising the brand for the future. The new Elina heel has a striking shape which cannot be missed, while a heritage cut-out bag is given life once more in polished leather and contrasting canvas. Floating scarves are streamlined as archival patterns are now reduced, redrawn and reimagined.

Last but certainly not least, Ferragamo’s iconic hue is now codified into a new Pantone red which weaves its appearance across the collection, all contrasting with colours from Rachel Harrison’s Sunset Series colours of slick white, deep indigo, buttery yellow and sky blue, a sight to be seen across degradé prints and hand-dyed knits. 

The Ferragamo Spring/Summer 2023 collection is now available in stores.

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