1956 | THE MODEL MADONNA WAS MADE FOR A QUEEN SAYS SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

1958 | Brisbane, Australia | Made for a Queen
Salvatore Ferragamo and guests
Source: Courier Mail, Brisbane/SAN | September 27, 1958


Soraya that is, former queen of Persia that she never managed to wear her Ferragamos. Or so the caption says. The model is called “Madonna” and promotional photographs showed Ferragamo with actresses dressed as nuns.

The above picture from Brisbane’s Courier Mail is dated September 27, 1958; three days earlier the Australian Women’s Weekly portrayed Salvatore Ferragamo with a full color page and four models on display, the “Madonna” was one of them:

“MADONNA” is the name Ferragamo gives to the embroidered sandal he designed for Princess Soraya. “She has the feet of a madonna” he said. The Princess takes a 6B (4) fitting.

Most probably the model actual date is 1956 as seen in “Le Vostre Novelle” magazine (March 1956) but, as customary with Ferragamo, a model was new this year in Italy, also new the following year in the U.S.A. and brand new the year after that in Australia. 



1958 | Salvatore Ferragamo | The model "Madonna"
Source: The Australian Women's Weekly | September 24, 1958


AND THEN MARKETING KICKS IN…

The SAN (Sistema Archivistico Nazionale - National Fashion Archive) which get the information from the Salvatore Ferragamo SPA and/or Salvatore Ferragamo Museum says:
“The original model was made for Sofia Loren. It is one of the most famous Ferragamo creations, also made for other customers. It’s called “Madonna” and the name was taken from a prototype stored in the (Ferragamo) archive. The shoe is part of the Mantero donation to the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum.” (SAN - retrieved May 2018
A twin entry in the SAN DB also shoes a picture of the “Madonna” replica renamed “Sofia Sandal” (Fall/Winter 2009/2010).

So, who do you want to believe? Salvatore Ferragamo or Salvatore Ferragamo SPA?



1956 | Salvatore Ferragamo | The model "Madonna"
Black & White Tavarnelle lace upper


Silliness aside, the “Madonna” is part of the Shoes Or No Shoes collection (both versions! - above) and Nazim Mustafaev’s Shoe Icons as well (below); another one, in a less good condition, belongs to the Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection at Drexel University. A "Madonna" model has been spotted online going for € 700 (June 2018).



1956 | Salvatore Ferragamo | The model "Madonna"
Black Tavarnelle lace
Source: Shoe Icons


SALVATORE FERRAGAMO
I N D E X



FOOTNOTE


Salvatore Ferragamo and Sofia Loren (hidden)
Close but not the Real McCoy (besides not being a sandal)
Source: your name here

Salvatore Ferragamo and Sofia Loren
Same session, different take of the above photograph
Source: Comune di Bonito (Ferragamo’s birthplace)

1956 | Salvatore Ferragamo
The model "Madonna" | detail


According to SAN/Salvatore Ferragamo Museum a drawing of the Madonna model is to be found from a Ferragamo sketchbook dated 1955.




 

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