Azzedine Alaïa pays tribute to the pioneering spirit of Salvatore Ferragamo’s shoes in the original and unusual way that only a non-conventional creator could during The Azzedine Alaïa fashion show held in Paris recently. The Florentine fashion company learned of this unexpected honour when it received the prestigious designer’s special request to pair some of the gowns in his fashion show with a very specific style of designer shoes, the “Indiana” created by Salvatore Ferragamo in 1925. A series of this stunning style was specially made for the Alaïa fashion show. A very particular pump with an upper that covers the entire foot, the “Indiana” was an early precursor to the well-known pump boot. Salvatore Ferragamo, alias shoemaker to the stars, designed it in stretch cotton with a leopard print, long before it had been so widely embraced by the fashion world. The “Indiana” was created for Hollywood divas and was later used for a special endorsement in California in the mid-Twenties, when Salvatore Ferragamo was starting up his Los Angeles shoe atelier. The revolutionary shoe which, during “1927 return to Italy”, the current exhibition at Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, is featured in the special “Ferragamo’s Creations” capsule collection of the brand’s most iconic and historic shoes - appealed to Azzedine Alaïa’s long-sightedness and creative spirit.
Hollywood star Lola Todd was the first to wear the leopard-print boot, which appeared in an endorsement published in the Hollywood Daily Citizen, Los Angeles, on 19th January 1926 with a feminine, head-to-toe leopard print look. Salvatore’s pump boot is one of those few special creations that have written shoe history with their inventiveness and innovative materials have written shoe history, while retaining such a timeless power of expression that their reappearance today incites no less excitement on the contemporary catwalk. And, in this case, it happens to be one of the most captivating catwalks in international fashion world. “I have always been a longtime admirer of Salvatore Ferragamo and his work, constantly ahead of his time and inspiration to all. I thank the Ferragamo family for this collaboration together.” Said Mr Alaïa. “Indiana”: pump with an upper that covers the entire foot in leopard-print stretch cotton, made from an original design by Salvatore Ferragamo. The Indiana was made out of natural materials that had never before been used in shoemaking, like stretch cotton. The Indiana pump boot was an unwitting precursor to the leopard print - which would go on to become a fashion favourite - and the seductive look of contemporary pump boots. The quintessentially Ferragamo legacy of this creation, dedicated to the refined tastes of famous divas in the mid-Twenties. The Indiana is a return to the future, with a timeless power of expression deriving from its fine Italian shoemaking tradition (lightness and comfort) and the modernity that inspired it.