As a fashion designer, it’s definitely a luxury to have access to an archive like the one that Salvatore Ferragamo has. But how does one navigate the dichotomy between over-referencing the past while presenting fresh ideas for the future? That was the challenge that Paul Andrew and Guillaume Meilland, the creative director and menswear design director of Salvatore Ferragamo, gamely embraced for the house's pre-autumn 2019 collection.
“We’re telling a very modern story for men and women who are equals, who recognise something of themselves in each other, but who at the same time are compelled by each other’s differences," says Andrew. "We use heritage and history as a starting point for a dynamic wardrobe we want to serve the women and men of tomorrow.”
The answer is to look at the archives of the house through a fresh perspective—for Andrew, he drew inspiration from the paintings of Bronzino that are in the permanent collection of Florence's Uffizi Gallery, while Meilland references the slouchy and eccentric sartorial leanings of composer and author, Paul Bowles.
The result is an injection of a lively array of light greys, reds and cream into their usual sombre colour palettes, weaving these colours into a more relaxed and boxy ’80s-inspired tailoring. The outerwear is one of the highlights of the collection, from a luscious padded leather coat to boxy wool cabans and a handsome suede coat with shearling lapels. But we can’t wax lyrical about putting a modern twist on Salvatore Ferragamo’s historic archives without talking about the shoes. The women’s Clogs, which were one of the icons of the house, have been translated into classic brogues and sneakers with chunky soles. Our favourite pick of the lot is the booster sneaker silhouette, a chunky sneaker that featured a mix of different materials on the uppers, is interpreted this season in patented leather and brushed suede. If that’s not a modern take on putting your best foot forward, we don’t know what is.