The exhibition that is on show at the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum until March 10, 2019, entitled ‘Italy in Hollywood‘ explores Italian migration to California and the influence it had there on movie and music productions between 1915 and 1927, the period the luxury shoemaker spent there.

Curated by Giuliana Muscio and Stefania Ricci, the exhibition allows visitors to be immersed in a real-life movie set, also thanks to the scenographic setup by Maurizio Balò, who took inspiration from the American studios of the 1920s. On display there are the years that Salvatore Ferragamo spent in California, especially in Santa Barbara, and with a special look at his collaborations with the most famous movie directors of the era, such as David Wark Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille.

Italy in Hollywood‘ also recounts the opening of the Hollywood Boot Shop, the Hollywood Boulevard store visited by stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Rodolfo Valentino, and Joan Crawford. Photographs, film clips, objects, clothing and artistic depictions illustrate the relationships and the role played by Italians and Italian art in the birth of silent movies, while also exploring this theme in a contemporary light.

The Ferragamo brand has a long-standing connection with the U.S., which began when its founder Salvatore left his Italian hometown, Naples, for to move to Boston in 1914, and subsequently to California in 1915. There his successful made-to-measure shoes became such a must-have item among celebrities that became known as the “shoemaker to the stars”. He also studied anatomy at the University of South California to improve the comfort of his creations.

Ilona Catani Scarlett

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