Museo Salvatore Ferragamo is a company museum, dedicated to the history of the Ferragamo company, the life of its founder his creations.
The Ferragamo family founded the museum in May 1995 to acquaint an international audience with the artistic qualities of Salvatore Ferragamo and the role he played in the history of footwear and international fashion.
Like most corporate museums, Museo Salvatore Ferragamo and its archives stem from the vision of an entrepreneur, in this case it was Salvatore Ferragamo’s widow, Wanda, who headed the company since the founder’s death in 1960, and her six children. In particular, the eldest of their children, Fiamma, who managed the company’s core footwear and leather goods business after her father’s death, stood at this project’s helm on behalf of her family and brought it to life, shaping its strategy with the assistance of historians and archivists.
The idea for the museum initially came about when an exhibition was organised at Palazzo Strozzi on the history of Salvatore Ferragamo. The exhibition went on tour and was hosted by some of the world’s most prestigious museums, such as the Victoria and Albert in London, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Sogetsu Kai Foundation in Tokyo, and the Museo de Bellas Artes in Mexico. The temporary exhibition gradually became permanent.
Since mid-1990s, the museum has organised several exhibitions to portray the history of the founder and to show the opening and interest of a company through different artistic languages, ranging from design to fashion, as means to communication for the dissemination of a style of living and dressing.
In recognition of the museum’s cultural importance and that of its many initiatives over the years, in 1999, Salvatore Ferragamo received the Guggenheim Impresa e Cultura Award, given annually to companies that best invest in culture to constructive ends.
From 2006, in order to make the life of the museum as dynamic as the life of the company, it was decided to modify its exhibition structure and to select every year a different research theme that, starting from the experience of Salvatore Ferragamo, the history of his life, his creations, the customers he served and his values, gives the opportunity to discover the world of Ferragamo in an indirect way combined with other cultural expressions such as Art, Architecture, Design, economic and social History and Philosophy. Each time the museum looks different, with different set-up and different contents.
Museo Salvatore Ferragamo is also a founding member of Museimpresa, the Italian association of museums and business archives promoted by Assolombarda and Confindustria, established with the purpose of disclosing the historical knowledge of the Italian companies that set the basis of Made in Italy. In November 2015, the museum became the first green corporate museum in Italy.
The project set up by Museimpresa and Confindustria with the aim at creating the world's first network of sustainable corporate museums that quantify their CO2 emissions, led Museo Salvatore Ferragamo to achieve the international certification ISO 14064 dealing with the quantification and reporting of the greenhouse gas emissions.
Since November 2016, the museum has officially joined ICOM (International Council of Museums), the most important and prestigious international organization of museums and museum professionals.
Composed by over 35,000 members and by a forum that brings together experts from 136 countries and territories, it represents the museum community as a whole.
Salvatore Ferragamo, Sandal, raffia upper and carved cork heel, 1938-1940. The model was created for the actress Loretta Young.
Wooden lasts made by Salvatore Ferragamo for some of his most famous customers - A Palace and the City, 8 May 2015 - 6 April 2016.
Autarchic models of the thirties by Salvatore Ferragamo in the exhibition Sustainable Thinking, 12 April 2019 - 16 February 2021.
1950s silk soutache models exhibited in Inspirations and Visions, 26 May 2011 - 12 March 2012.
Salvatore Ferragamo, Embroidered Satin Sandal, 1957.
Model exhibited in the exhibition Creativity in Color, 6 December 2006 - 26 April 2010.
Salvatore Ferragamo, Sandal, 1940, satin upper with sculpted cork platform covered in kidskin.