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Alaïa pays tribute to Ferragamo founder on the catwalk

July 6, 2017

Ferragamo Indiana boot. Image courtesy of Ferragamo


As part of his runway show during Paris Couture Week, designer Azzedine Alaïa accented his fashions with a nod to footwear history.

The couturier got permission from Ferragamo to accessorize some of his garments that walked the runway on July 5 with the shoe label’s Indiana boot, a style first designed by brand founder Salvatore Ferragamo in the 1920s. While not a common practice, designers have been known to make their appreciation for others in their profession known through their own work.

Archival inspiration
The Indiana, which originated in 1925, was a pump that covered the foot, making it an early relative of the high heeled boot. Originally made in stretch cotton, the shoe marked the first time that kind of natural material had been used in cobbling.

Intended for the Hollywood set, fittingly, the Indiana was first worn by screen star Lola Todd. The actress was photographed wearing a matching animal print coat while seated next to a live leopard cub.

Lola Todd wearing Ferragamo's Indiana boot. Image courtesy of Ferragamo

For Alaïa, Ferragamo produced a special version of the shoe in a series specially for the fashion show.

I have always been a longtime admirer of Salvatore Ferragamo and his work, constantly ahead of his time and inspiration to all,” said Mr. Alaïa in a statement. “I thank the Ferragamo family for this collaboration together.”

Alaïa runway look featuring Ferragamo's Indiana. Image courtesy of Ferragamo

Along with appearing on the runway, the Indiana is currently on display as part of the exhibit “1927. The Return to Italy” at Museo Salvatore Ferragamo.

This exhibit celebrates 90 years since the brand founder’s return to Italy from the United States with a visual retelling of his journey.

In 1927, after 12 years spent between Boston and California, Mr. Ferragamo returned to his home country, settling in Florence to recommence his footwear business. Due to the post-World War I climate, Mr. Ferragamo came home to an Italy that was once again embracing national traditions and handcrafts where creativity could flourish (see story).

French fashion house Givenchy’s fall/winter 2015 advertising campaign starred the label’s designer Riccardo Tisci alongside Versace creative director Donatella Versace on his Instagram. Brands in the same sector do not collaborate often, but this ad shows solidarity among fashion’s leading designers (see story).