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Spring Awakening

Inside Ferragamo’s elegant new collection

In a cool, mid-century interior, a beautiful woman in an elegantly shoulder-robed, green leather coat and vertiginous wedge-heel sandals trimmed with semi-precious pebbles stares boldly at the viewer, one slender leg raised casually on the bookshelf behind her, a curvy, azure bag at her feet. It’s the epitome of 1960s Italian design chic.


This is one image from Florentine fashion house Ferragamo’s spring campaign, showcasing the collection by the brand’s youthful British creative director Maximilian Davis. He conceived it with Italian photographer Vanina Sorrenti, known for depicting confident women comfortable in their home environments. Natalia Vodianova, supermodel, philanthropist and married to Bernard Arnault’s son Antoine, understands the world of modern haute luxe perfectly and looks utterly relaxed in tailoring, draped dresses, sensuous bags and directional shoes.


Founder Salvatore Ferragamo learnt to make shoes as a child, went to California as a teenager and designed shoes for early movie stars, setting up in Florence in 1927 and supplying stars, including Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Greta Garbo and Judy Garland, with a stream of iconic designs. Bags and clothing were added and by the 1960s Ferragamo brought dolce vita chic to newly-prosperous Italy.


As partly a family concern (now the third generation), Ferragamo appealed to Davis, 28, who comes from a fashion-orientated family – his father and sister studied it while his mother modelled and his grandmother taught him sewing. He studied in London, made close and highly creative friends through the club scene and was about to set up a label with them when the pandemic struck, but he launched alone in 2020. Word of his talent grew and two years ago Ferragamo came calling.

Davis was charged with renewing Ferragamo luxury for a sophisticated, young audience and has said he found more in common with it than he expected, especially the unhurried, effortless, Italian approach that reminds him of relaxed Caribbean family visits.


His collections are already influential, current mainstream fashion passions for silver and red included, while his Spring 24 inspirations include Caribbean colours and large prints based on semi-abstract motifs of vegetation, sharp tailoring from both cultures, and the rich draping of Italian Renaissance art.


Sorrenti’s work reflects his vision, he says. “My upbringing has revolved around the influence and presence of women and Vanina’s work is about seeing women in their natural surroundings, feeling at ease. Her gaze, and their comfort, are very powerful. I make sure the proportions and silhouettes empower the wearer and give a sense of ease”. Vodianova was the ideal embodiment of these principles, and the triumvirate makes a strong visual statement for this grand old brand.   

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