There Is No Limit to Beauty, No Saturation Point in Design

by Jon-Barrett Ingels

Speaking with James Ferragamo, grandson of Salvatore, and Women’s Leather Product Director
Beverly Hills welcomed back Salvatore Ferragamo to his Rodeo Drive location this past Wednesday for a grand re-opening after an extensive remodel. It has been almost a 100 years since the famed designer took up roots in Hollywood, creating shoes for the stars and the movies that made them famous. His focus wasn’t solely on style, but form and function as well. Ferragamo studied human anatomy at The University of Southern California in Los Angeles to help him create shoes with a perfect fit.

The remodeled flagship of the luxury brand, designed by William Sofield, opened with an exclusive cocktail party celebrating Ferragamo’s centuries worth of influence in Hollywood.

Flaunt’s fashion director, Mui-Hai Chu, chatted with James Ferragamo—the grandson of Salvatore and Women’s Leather Product Director for the company—about Hollywood, family, and his grandfather’s legacy.

What is your favorite Hollywood film? I know Ferragamo as a brand and your family has been involved in Hollywood.

It’s a very difficult decision because the great thing about Hollywood is, that its so varied, so many different representations, and different ways of being creative. I think that’s what really inspired my grandfather. That’s why he started here. That creativity goes in many different ways. We wanted to come back here and do our first store to market at least a hundred years of having a guy in Hollywood to market his ability to collaborate with creativity.

What are your favorite aspects of L.A.?

I love the beach, the city, and many different aspects. It’s a city of creativity. It’s very causal. Having lived in NY, it’s less stressful.

You’re based in Florence. What inspires you about Art Deco?

First of all, the period was a really important period. My grandfather had this art deco concept and focusing on a period of innovation. So taking it from that time and trying to consent that into today’s concept of the store.

One thing about Ferragamo that really makes it special is the bond of family, do you think that in modern times that bond in general—the idea of family growing—lies in the past?

I think the idea of family is very important all around. Family is a strength, we as Italians, we’ve always had that. It’s a concept today that is important worldwide and it’s a concept that can never be wrong and I think that’s very important. It doesn’t ask you to be who you’re not. Family accepts you for who you are. Family is inevitable.

Has it ever been hard to work with a family?

Yeah sometimes it is, but also, it’s a publicly held company, so its not just family, it’s a much larger family which are the shareholders, who need to be able to collaborate.