Salvatore Ferragamo is gone.
The Florentine luxury label is no longer what we know it to be, dropping the ‘Salvatore’ from its brand identity, ditching its signature cursive font for a more structured renaissance inspired text and ushering a new tone of crimson for their new DNA.
These announcements, which were made days before newly-appointed creative director Maximilian Davis debuted his first collection for the maison, proved that Ferragamo is ready to embrace their future as a forefather of luxury fashion.
But it was Davis’ critically-acclaimed collection that cemented the house as a brand for now, putting Ferragamo back to its rightful spot as a covetable and revered label that can stand the test of time.
Who knew it would take a 27-year-old British designer to do it?
Earlier this year, the enterprising young upstarter dropped out of the prestigious LVMH Prize to join the maison.
Not as a designer on the atelier floor, or as consigliare to the famed house, but taking out the top spot. Not an easy feat for someone of his age.
The designer, who is founder of his own eponymous label, hadn’t even presented a collection under his own name, rather working with lauded London-based incubator Fashion East to showcase his creations.
However, thanks to his celebrity following, which includes illustrious members of the style set like Dua Lipa and Rhianna, flocking to his island-inspired sexy creations, Davis made for the best contender to forge this next chapter for the heritage brand.
Now, at Milan Fashion Week, Maximilian proved that what he may lack in experience, is made up by talent tenfold. They should rename the Midas touch to the Maximilian touch, because Ferragamo is pure, unadulterated, gold.
Simply put, Davis’ debut for Ferragamo was a tour de force.
It was clear that Davis’ vision for the collection explored the tension between tradition and innovation. The past and the future wrestled under Davis’ skilful approach to dressing.
Davis, a proud Black designer with Trinidadian and Jamaican roots, exalts people of colour in his own creations, revealing in a 2020 interview that his modus operandi in design is presenting the narrative that “Black elegance exists”.
What is especially refreshing about this collection, is that Davis isn’t loosing himself in Ferragamo’s archives, rather infusing his signature sensual style with house codes created almost a century ago.
This omnipresent dichotomy between then and now was seen in every element of the show—from the invite, an hourglass to reflect the passage of time, to the show location, the former Archbishop’s Seminary of Milan which has been converted into a hotel, demonstrating the brands astute devotion to modernity and legacy.
“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 explained in a press release.
The brand are dubbing this collection “a new dawn for the brand: a renaissance of its Hollywood history”.
From Rodeo Drive to the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, Ferragomo’s lasting touch lingers on the mind of the stylish A-listers that call Los Angeles home. Old school glamour and the new SoCal chic style of sensual dressing made for an intriguing discovery of how Ferragamo views the modern woman (and man).
Bodies were empowered by a strategic decision to conceal or reveal, spotted on the ombré sheer maxi dress that evokes the feeling of a balmy sunset, and will soon be seen on the beaches from Malibu to Venice.
Later in the collection, a body conscious asymmetrical drop-shoulder dress hugs the figure at just the right angles that’s equally modest that is boastful.
For discerning Ferragamo devotees, the addition of resort ready accessories and footwear will inspire you to archive your collections in favour for these new inclusions. We’re spying the micro top handle black bag, (cutout to reveal accents of Ferragamo red), and red soled black strappy sandals.
The collection wouldn’t be complete without a direct reference to Ferragamo’s past and homage to Salvatore himself.
Crystals are scattered across sheer mesh shirts and sparkling trousers that will make Dorothy’s ruby red slippers from The Wizard Of Oz green with envy. This motif is, of course, an homage to the shoes Salvatore Ferragamo created especially for Marilyn Monroe in 1959.
Our takeaway? Davis is ready to paint the town red. Ferragamo red, as it seems.