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Fulvia Ferragamo photographed by Ivo Bazzechi at Palazzo Spini Feroni, Florence, 1971

Fulvia Ferragamo

Fulvia was born in 1950, fourth child of Salvatore and Wanda Ferragamo.

She was only ten when her father passed away. In October of the same year, 1960, she crossed for the first time the entrance of the Villa del Poggio Imperiale in Florence, seat of the SS. Annunziata girls’ boarding school, prestigious international college she attended for four years.

It was during this fundamental period of training that Fulvia's passion for silk and oriental decorative motifs was born. Students were coming from all over the world. The girls’ dormitories were housed in the so-called “Chinese quarters”. These extraordinarily beautiful rooms document an attraction to China that was all the rage in Europe during the eighteenth century; an interest that was shared by Grand Duke Peter Leopold of Lorraine and his wife Maria Luisa of Hapsburg, who arrived in Florence in 1765 and chose the Villa del Poggio as their beloved summer residence.The apartment was covered in Chinese wallpaper and furnished with paintings of various sizes, depicting flowers and birds, pairs of characters in loving poses against Chinese interior backgrounds, and China’s principal production processes, from rice and tea growing to silk- and porcelain-working. This iconographic repertoire offered an exotic image of a faraway world, one that Westerners dreamt of and admired, very fascinating for young pupils. Fulvia breathed in and assimilated those life scenes of the Chinese quarter with its multitude of human characters, always perfectly well-dressed even when engaged in hard work, but also birds, such as pheasants and partridges, and flowers, particularly peonies. These memories will accompany the entire creative path of Fulvia, representing a great source of inspiration together with her personal interest in travel, especially in China and India, photography and collecting curios and small antiques from those countries.

In the 1970s, after marrying lawyer Giuseppe Visconti, Fulvia lived in Milan and enjoyed accompanying her mother on frequent visits to silk producers in Como for the seasonal selection of scarves, not designed exclusively for Ferragamo. She quickly developed the idea that the time was ripe for Ferragamo to produce this accessory on its own, with its own recognizable, customized designs, and started working directly with specialized industries of silk printing. An eclectic creative world arose from the encounter between Fulvia's imagination and the pencil of skilled and refined illustrators. In the scarves the animals dominated, especially felines, made up of a patchwork of flowers. As often happens, the idea took shape thanks to different sources of inspiration. The patchwork process must already have been familiar to Fulvia, having been widely used by her father in the making of shoes. But television also seems to have played a key role in the development of these subjects, through the 1970s animated films by Czechoslovakian director Jirí Trnka, in which the characters come to life from a flowery patchwork. Alongside the animals “made of flowers”, icons of the production of Ferragamo silks, there were distinct decorative modules such as flowers and marine fauna, hunting subjects, oriental subjects set in a reassuring-looking jungle, and even the shoes created by Salvatore Ferragamo in the first decades of the twentieth century. For the ties, Fulvia favored ethnic themes reduced to miniatures, taken from books, popular illustrations and her travel experiences, to give a touch of color and irony to men's clothing. At the same time, geometric designs and logos were also created. The success of the prints prompted the maison to decline the designs of scarves also on other accessories and clothing, capable of expressing the originality and evolution of the Ferragamo style.

The untimely death of Fulvia Ferragamo, on April 25, 2018, left a great void within the family and the company. However, her passion and ideas continue to proliferate through the people that Fulvia has trained over the years, who continue to design and produce as if she were still at the helm of each collection, and through the materials preserved in the bozzSalvatore Ferragamo Archive - representative products, test papers, sketches, sources of inspiration - which allow today's designers to reinterpret classic Ferragamo themes in a contemporary key.

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Fulvia Ferragamo photographed by David Lees at Palazzo Spini Feroni, Florence, 1983

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Fulvia Ferragamo at the company headquarters in Milan, 2013

To her is dedicated the exhibition SILK, at Museo Salvatore Ferragamo until18 April 2022.