The director of ‘Call Me By Your Name’ just made a film on the life of Salvatore Ferragamo 2
Ferragamo returns to the medium of film.

The director of ‘Call Me By Your Name’ just made a film on the life of Salvatore Ferragamo

The documentary, Shoemaker of Dreams, is expected to up the style ante at the Venice Film Festival this September.
ANCX | Aug 28 2020

“That has been my life’s work: striving to learn to make shoes that always fit and the refusal to put my name to any that do not fit. Therefore please look behind the story of the small, barefoot, unlettered boy who became a famous shoemaker, and seek the pleasure you will obtain from walking well.”

These are the final words —written by the man himself— of the preface to Salvatore Ferragamo’s autobiography, the tale of a pioneer whose creative genius remains timeless and unrivaled today. He also unintentionally bound his story to the world of film. Which is just as well because this September, the Ferragamo name makes that connection again to the moving image—with no less than a feature-length documentary directed by Luca Guadagnino to be presented at the Venice Film Festival.

“We were overjoyed to learn that the film about my father’s life would be presented at the Venice Film Festival,” said Ferruccio Ferragamo. “It is an honour for me and my entire family that a director of Luca Guadagnino’s calibre would take an interest in our family history, adapting it for the big screen.”

The director of ‘Call Me By Your Name’ just made a film on the life of Salvatore Ferragamo 3
Luca Guadagnino

The documentary traces Ferragamo’s artistic journey, as well as tells the story behind the man through the two deeply interwoven worlds that he inhabited: Italy and America. It follows Salvatore from his birthplace in the Southern Italian region of Campania to the United States, from apprentice shoemaker in Naples to owner of the Hollywood Boot Shop in California. The tale joins him in his decision to return to Italy, to live and work in Florence, mastering his craft and rising to success as a businessman.

The project began in 2017 when Luca Guadagnino, inspired by his reading of the shoemaker and Italian entrepreneur’s autobiography, reached out to the Ferragamo family, who opened the doors of the fashion brand’s archives to him, giving him access to interviews, family anecdotes and other information, as well as the final, precious words of Wanda Miletti, Salvatore’s wife. 

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For three years, Fondazione Salvatore Ferragamo and Museo Salvatore Ferragamo worked with the director and screenwriter Dana Thomas. The tape recordings of Salvatore reading aloud some of the chapters of his autobiography, which were restored for the occasion, and the radio interviews he gave in Australia also proved invaluable for their research.


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