FERRAGAMO

1936 : Due to economic sanctions imposed by the League of Nations on Mussolini's fascist regime, materials are scarce. Salvatore Ferragamo experiments with alternatives. Introduces the "wedgie," or wedge heel, made from Sardinian cork or wood. Within two years, 75 percent of American shoes will sport some variation of the wedge heel. Ferragamo rents workrooms and a retail shop in the thirteenth-century Palazzo Spini Feroni.

1959 : Daughter Giovanna Ferragamo, aged sixteen, debuts the company's first clothing collection, Giovanna by Ferragamo for Lord & Taylor.

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