2016 is a curious moment in the world of luxury fashion. So many brands are becoming satellites under the umbrella of much larger conglomerates. Each to some extent filling a niche, to round out a portfolio of sorts. It is a new way to look at luxury in comparison to the artists and artisans who first started hand making these good over one hundred years ago. While the desire for great wealth might have been the inspiration for craftsman that created luxury goods of years past, cost cutting and profit margin study was never the guiding principle which we now see as the rule at these luxury groups.
A trend that seems to have rippled through the fashion world is the desire for modernist designs both in products and in the interior design of these luxury boutiques. Important to remember, fashion boutiques serve one purpose - to sell merchandise. We can argue that there is more to it than that, as in introducing the brand image, romancing future and current clients, elevating the product through display, however all of those tasks all lead back to selling merchandise. Without sales, there is no brand.
One house that recently invested heavily in celebrating the history and brand legacy of it's namesake designer is Salvatore Ferragamo. Ferragamo is the artisan that invented the category of designer shoes. Creating shoes for the leading ladies of Hollywood in the 1920's at the start of the Hollywood Studio system, Salvatore would go on to design custom shoes for just about every leading lady of Hollywood and NY society. After a decade in sunny California, Ferragamo would return to Italy and create the House of Ferragamo in Florence.
In celebration of the 100 anniversary of Salvatore's work in Hollywood, the house turned to company archives and the glamour of Hollywood when renovating the flagship boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Turning to Ultra-Luxe Architect William Sofield of Studio Sofield to bring this dream to life in 2016, the brand set out to romance clients and remind them that Salvatore had a savoir-faire and passion for design seldom seen in that time or since. William Sofield has designed luxury residences, retail stores, and hotels around the world. Perhaps best known for his work with Tom Ford creating the look of Gucci boutiques under Ford's tenure, and later in Tom Ford's own eponymous boutiques.
Using rich details like Marble, Aluminum, Straw Marquetry, and leathers, Sofield Studio created a space that Ferragamo himself could have met with Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, or Eva Peron all those years ago. Today the Creative Director of the house - Massimiliano Giornetti welcomed the ladies of Hollywood today like Kelly Lynch and Demi Moore when the boutiques re-opening party shut down Rodeo Drive in September 2015.
Not to be overlooked is the handsome men's department Sofield designed for Ferragamo that feels like a social club most men wish they were members up. Comfortable club chairs in dark oxblood leather surround a mantle that would make anyone want to pull up a chair and spend some time.
While in recent years the Ferragamo boutiques had the cleanest and most modern design details, this newest incarnation is a love letter to the Beverly Hills of yesterday - showcasing fashion designs of today and tomorrow. Tourists and local residents alike have been positively charmed when shopping in the new boutique. The magic of the era is hard to resist, and of course Ferragamo quality, design, and Made In Italy craftmanship are hypnotic on their own!
If you're planning a trip to Los Angeles, make sure you visit Beverly Hills and the Salvatore Ferragamo boutique. Even if designer shoes are not in your budget, fall in love with a silk scarf, a bottle of fragrance, or anything that bears the name of this Italian legend.
For more information - click over to Salvatore Ferragamo for more information on all things Ferragamo.