Shoe Business

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Shoe Business
Above: A variety of Salvatore Ferragamo for Yohji Yamamoto shoes.

Shoe Business

Following a jaunt through the storied Florentine archives of Salvatore Ferragamo last year, Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto realized, that by collaborating with the cobbler, he could produce a type of shoe that was missing from the house’s repertoire. The goal, explained Yamamoto, who approached Ferragamo about designing a capsule collection for fall 2009, was to create a “unisex and neutral” look. He set to work on eight styles, supple and uncomplicated yet rooted in the Ferragamo tradition of detailed construction. The highlights: a sleek red ankle boot; a taupe men’s-style shoe laced straight to the tip of the toe; and a riff on the jazz shoe, done in black and white with a stacked heel. The footwear will retail from $470 to $1,050 at select Salvatore Ferragamo boutiques.

“Yohji was very interested in the femininity of our women’s shoes but also wanted to create a more masculine shoe for women, which hadn’t been done before by our team,” said James Ferragamo, label scion and women’s leather product director. Yamamoto revealed that he based a couple of the shapes on the house’s iconic Vara pump, but he remained hush-hush about how the shoes were created: “High-quality craftwork is similar to a secret recipe of a long-established restaurant that is not to be removed from the premises.”