Shoe forms at the Museo Ferragamo, most notably the royal baby (top right)
Podiatry and patents form the foundation of Salvatore Ferragamo's stylishly successful shoe empire. With an eye on anatomy and movement, Ferragamo incorporated balance between mobility and comfort for maximum support in the shoes he created. In an exhibit curated by Stefania Ricci and Sergio Risaliti (in collaboration with Emanuele Enria), the Museo Ferragamo in Florence presents Equilibrium, an exhibit emphasizing the technical prowess of Ferragamo's research and its ties between art, architecture, archeology, science and style. Keep reading for a look inside...
Salvatore Ferragamo and a wall of shoe forms
As evidenced by hundreds of handcrafted shoe forms hanging on the walls, Ferragamo's study of walking, climbing, marching and standing became synonymous with the structure, size and shape of Ferragamo shoes. Only a sampling of the 20,000+ models in the shoe library, visitors to the museum get a glimpse of Ferragamo's infamous clientele--including Marilyn Monroe, Gloria Swanson, Audrey Hepburn and the Royal Baby. Alongside Ferragamo's mock-ups, thematically relevant paintings, sculpture, photographs and a series of video interviews complete the 9-room exhibit.
Ferragamo holds more than 350 patents for shoe-related innovations! [photo source: here]
Walking through the museum, I found the exhibits exceptionally informative. Ferragamo's fixation on replicating "comfort" and 350+ patents including the gloved arch and the cork wedge are still widely used today. If you happen to be visiting Florence, the Ferragamo museum is worth a visit; Equilibrium has been extended until April 23rd. If you will not be in Italy and would like to learn more about Salvatore Ferragamo, read more about the exhibit here.
A study into the evolution of the high heel
"Many feet are injured by shoes. Does the answer lie, then, in the fact that when the foot is inside the shoe it is no longer allowed to perform its natural functions? Is it imprisoned like a bird in a cage, unable to work properly? If that is so does this imprisonment affect the arch? Again, if this is so does this mean that the arch not only should but must be supported?"
Ferragamo's notable shoes
Ferragamo and the shoe making process [source: here]
Sculpture supporting the theme of "equilibrium"