The City of Beverly Hills and the Rodeo Drive Committee announced the recipient of the fifth Rodeo Drive Walk of Style® Award will be given to Salvatore Ferragamo. The award, inaugurated in 2003, honors style legends for their contributions to the worlds of fashion and entertainment. The members of the Ferragamo family accepted the award on behalf of the house of Salvatore Ferragamo in a special ceremony Sunday, October 8, 2006.
Ferragamo will be honored with a permanent plaque in the sidewalk along the world-renowned street, featuring his quote and signature. "Like many of the world's fashion designers that have made Rodeo Drive their home, Salvatore Ferragamo recognized the importance of his designs gracing both the worlds of fashion and film," says Peri Ellen Berne, Chairman of the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style(R). "Ferragamo's creations, such as the wedge shoe and invisible sandal, will forever be remembered. It is an honor to recognize Ferragamo's impact on both design and the glamour of cinema with a plaque on the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style where the fashion and entertainment industries intersect.
"The City of Beverly Hills is pleased to have the privilege of recognizing the Ferragamo legacy. As a designer he has made an indelible mark on the fashion and entertainment industry, creating timeless, classic designs since the 1920's worn the world over by Hollywood's elite. This, coupled with his established presence on Rodeo Drive, makes Salvatore Ferragamo highly deserving as a Rodeo Drive Walk of Style(R) honoree," states Beverly Hills Mayor Linda J. Briskman.
Born in Southern Italy, Salvatore Ferragamo immigrated to the United States in 1914, and began his career creating custom-made shoes for the movies. Working from his famed "Hollywood Boot Shop" which he opened on the corner of Hollywood and Las Palmas Boulevards in 1923, he quickly garnered a devoted following of cinema legends, from Rudolph Valentino, Lillian Gish and Joan Crawford, to Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Greta Garbo. Even after he returned to Italy in 1927 to set up his own workshops in Florence, his reputation as "Shoemaker to the Stars" continued. Ferragamo went on to design shoes for stars such as Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Katherine Hepburn, Lauren Bacall and Sofia Loren, many of whose wooden lasts are today displayed in the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in the Palazzo Spini Feroni in Florence.
Salvatore Ferragamo's inventive designs have appeared in countless movies, from The Ten Commandments and The Thief of Bagdad, to The Seven Year Itch and Some Like It Hot, right up to contemporary hits such as Evita, Ever After and Traffic. Inventor of the wedge, as well as the metal-reinforced stiletto heels made famous by Marilyn Monroe, and the 'invisible sandals' with uppers made of nylon thread (which won the prestigious Neiman Marcus Award in 1947), Salvatore Ferragamo has become synonymous with innovation, luxury and style.
"My father, Salvatore Ferragamo, was the first designer to recognize the natural symmetry between the worlds of film and fashion," says Ferruccio Ferragamo, CEO of Salvatore Ferragamo Italia. "From Marilyn Monroe to Madonna, from Some Like It Hot to Evita, the house of Ferragamo has always been synonymous with Hollywood glamour and style. We are therefore delighted to be receiving this honor right where it all began, with a permanent plaque on Rodeo Drive."
The remarkable legacy of Salvatore Ferragamo has been carried forward by his wife, Wanda Miletti Ferragamo, and their six children; thanks to her intelligence, determination and acute business sense, Salvatore Ferragamo is today one of the world's leading designers, producers and distributors of luxury shoes, leather goods, accessories, fragrances and apparel for men and women. With more than 450 wholly owned and operated boutiques situated in over 55 countries around the globe, the love-affair between Hollywood and Ferragamo is stronger than ever, with international stars such as Keira Knightly, George Clooney, Ziyi Zhang, Eva Mendes and Will Smith wearing the creations of the legendary house.
Salvatore Ferragamo was selected to receive the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style(R) Award by an independent group of representatives from the media, entertainment and fashion industries, who were invited to nominate style legends for their contributions to fashion and entertainment.
Sculptor Robert Graham's "Torso," standing 14 feet tall at the intersection of Rodeo Drive and Dayton Way, serves as the symbol for the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style(R). Internationally famous, Graham is known for his understanding of the human body as evidenced in his sculptures. Some of his renowned works include: Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the FDR Memorial in Washington, D.C., the Duke Ellington Memorial in New York City, the Olympic Gateway at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, and most recently the Great Bronze Doors at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels also in Los Angeles. The Walk of Style(R) Award, also designed by Mr. Graham, is a model of "Torso."
Salvatore Ferragamo will be the fifth recipient of this award, following last year's joint honorees, Herb Ritts and Mario Testino (2005), and previous honorees Tom Ford (2004) and Giorgio Armani (2003).