Ferruccio Ferragamo, chairman of luxury shoemaker Salvatore Ferragamo, has denied rumors that the family company would be for sale following its fashion show in Milan, and that it is not even up for consideration. “We’re in love with this company, it’s not up for sale,” the chairman confidently said after being inquired about the possibility of it ceasing to be an independent brand.
This is not the first time that the company has faced such rumors, especially when most luxury brands are now at the hands of large European luxury conglomerates such as Kering and LVMH. In fact, there have been speculation that the brand will sell in as early as 2014, but so far they remain to be among the few standing on their feet, a position shared by houses such as Prada and Chanel. Its shares have reached their peak back in 2015 and have fallen since then, but the rumors of a takeover that spurred after Wanda Ferragamo’s passing away have led to a spike in October last year.
During the Milan runway show, Ferragamo also expressed that the brand has laid out programs that it expects to show results in the following weeks and months. Some changes within the company have already taken place, such as Micaela Le Divelec Lemmi taking over as its new CEO and Alessandro Corti being appointed as the CFO just this January. Le Divelec Lemmi was the finance chief at Gucci before she was hired as CEO for the Italian shoemaker in 2018. The house has also promoted Paul Andrew from Salvatore Ferragamo’s womenswear designer to the house’s creative director, which Le Divelec Lemmi thought was a natural evolution.
Although Salvatore Ferragamo is already an established brand that the likes of Audrey Hepburn have helped become desirable, it had its own fair share of struggles in making its signature shoes and silk scarves more visible to the younger generation. To be fair, that is a problem that is not exclusive to the house, but Salvatore Ferragamo has to do it on its own rather than have a luxury group back it up. The house has also not penetrated the Chinese market in a larger scale where there is a growing number of luxury shoppers, but the recent 10.1% increase in retail proves to be promising. Le Divelec Lemmi is confident herself that their brand will be able relaunch successfully.
So far, the brand has committed itself to make the in-shopping experience more immersive for customers by including more ready-to-wear collections. To attract new shoppers, Salvatore Ferragamo has enlisted the help of influencers with a significant following to promote the new monogram designed by Andrew, the Gancini, which we first saw during the brand’s Resort 2019 collection. Andrew, however, has the added task of keeping loyal customers besides reeling new ones in. To make this possible, the designer is dedicated to still continue creating classic leather pieces that the brand has been known for decades alongside more modern, must-have accessories.
Image credits: Bloomberg Finance LP, Massimo Sestini, Locchi Historical Archive, Florence, Surface Magazine, Salvatore Ferragamo, WWD, AFP/Marco Bertorello, Elle