Ferragamo Presents Its Silk Exhibition At The Museo Salvatore In Florence

Salvatore Ferragamo Presents Its Silk Exhibition At The Museo Salvatore In Florence

Salvatore Ferragamo Showcases Its Rich History With An Exhibition Dedicated to Silk

Salvatore Ferragamo launches SILK, a new exhibition at Salvatore Ferragamo Museo exploring the history, inspiration, and making of their iconic scarves. The exhibition, curated by Judith Clark and Stefania Ricci, shares the story of the perfect union between creative intuition and high-end industrial craftsmanship—that is, the story behind manufacturing a scarf. 

Founder Salvatore Ferragmo’s dream was to turn his internationally renowned footwear brand into a fashion label that dressed from head to toe. Ferragamo passed away in 1960, but his vision took hold in the 70’s thanks to one of his daughters, Fulvia, who launched the continuous production of silk accessories. Silk scarves then became a sign of distinction for the Salvatore Ferragamo brand with prints inspired by nature and exotic animals.

The exhibit which runs until April 18, 2022, begins with an installation by two contemporary Chinese artists, Sun Yuan & Peng Yu. The art installation and the pictorial work, (conceived to be reproduced on silk twill), conceptually epitomize how the Silk Road has long been a fertile route for encounters and exchange between Orient and Occident.

Highlights from other sections of the exhibit include:

The fascination of China at Villa del Poggio Imperiale

Villa del Poggio Imperiale was a boarding school Fulvia Ferragamo attended in the 60’s that is believed to be the origin of her passion for silk and Oriental decorative motifs. It is suggested Ferragamo was inspired by a dorm known as the “Chinese quarter,” where she found walls furnished with wallpaper and paintings of various sizes from China, that featured pheasants, partridges, and flowers, (especially peonies).


Countless sources of inspiration lie behind the subjects printed on these scarves and ties: from works of art kept in museums to ancient tomes on botany and natural sciences. The initial mood boards for each collection, are bound in a total of 1,065 red albums. In preparation for this exhibition, references in the albums were cross-checked and matched against the designs of scarves that went into production. Surprising discoveries emerged. A samurai on horseback painted on a scarf wears armor identical to a suit in the permanent collection of the Museo Stibbert in Florence; the poppies from a 1990’s print are a reproduction of an engraved panel from one of the most beautiful botanical books in history, Hortus Eystettensis. Many of the floral-themed scarves take inspiration from the magnificent flower garlands painted by the Medici painter Bartolomeo Bimbi in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Look back Anouk

A short film by young directors Rocco Gurrieri and Irene Montini draws its inspiration from the figurative world of the scarves created by Fulvia Ferragamo, as well as from animated films by Czechoslovakian director Jiří Trnka. Trnka’s patchwork flower puppets suggested the figurative style of early Ferragamo prints. The film shows portrays a lonely girl in a palace, suspended between sky and sea. Feeling her days are empty, she secretly composes a variety of worlds in which she may abandon herself to her fantasies.

Young Talents on the Silk Road

At every exhibition, the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo sets aside space for young creatives to interpret the exhibition theme. For this exhibit, Art Media Studio has created this multimedia installation to showcase graphics designed by five students of the Liceo Artistico di Porta Romana and Sesto Fiorentino, Florence, under their teachers’ supervision. The project is linked to the launch of Storie di seta, a collection of four new Ferragamo fragrances all inspired by the Ferragamo’s history of silk print. The four fragrances share a common heart, a “silken thread” that makes it possible to combine them and create new, personalized scents. Each of these five young graphic artists have embodied one of the fragrances, using their preferred techniques to give them artistic form.

For anyone unable to visit the museum for an on-site visit experience, an exclusive virtual tour is available in both Italian and English on museo.ferragamo.com. 

A documentary about the exhibition and much more will be distributed from April, 29 on Sky Arte, (an Italian based streaming company).

Ferragamo Presents Its Silk Exhibition At The Museo Salvatore In Florence
Ferragamo Presents Its Silk Exhibition At The Museo Salvatore In Florence