MILAN — Salvatore Ferragamo is collaborating with young international creative talents to develop a series of special projects throughout 2021.
The first two initiatives are dedicated to the Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day.
For the former, Ferragamo has involved London-based illustrator Charlotte Mei in a digital project that celebrates the Year of the Ox.
Mei also worked with the Florence-based company on the Valentine’s Day capsule. Other artists tapped by Ferragamo include Italian sculptor Davide Ronco; American collage artist Johanna Goodman; Turkish digital artist Mert Keskin, and Dutch-born Ruth van Beek. They created a series of multimedia artworks that will feature in the Patchwork of Love campaign.
The focus of the Chinese New Year project is the digital campaign entitled “What Makes You Niu?” Niu is how the word ox is pronounced in Chinese, but it is also a Chinglish neologism for a person who is capable, tenacious and bold.
Mei created a series of photographic collages and illustrations inspired by Pop Art from the 1970s, Roy Lichtenstein and cartoon heroes.
Women’s products include silk scarves embellished with the zodiac Sign of the Ox in a floral patchwork with rich Chinese iconography. This print is used on the Viva Bow Bag and Viva shoe.
Gold is a fundamental element for the Sign of the Ox and it is used on men’s driving loafers, sneakers and poolside slides. Black and gold men’s leather goods, ranging from classic wallets, briefcases and pouches to shoulder bags, are characterized by embossed details in a Gancini pattern. The collection is completed by three belts with double Gancini buckles — Ferragamo bestsellers — again in black and gold.
It is not surprising Ferragamo would pay tribute to the Chinese New Year. As reported, the Asia Pacific region is the company’s main market and helped lift the luxury group’s retail performance last year. In particular, the retail channel in China in the last quarter was up 33.9 percent at constant exchange rates, bringing the full-year performance to a 11.3 percent gain at constant exchange rates.
For Valentine’s Day, Ferragamo invited the five artists to interpret the idea of Patchwork of Love, bringing all the results together in a group narration. The Ferragamo website and social channels will present the work done by Mei, Ronco, Goodman, Keskin and van Beek: collages, animation, illustrations, photos, videos and sculptures that rework elements symbolic for the brand, such as the Gancini logo and articles from the Ferragamo selection for Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day products include a red Vara bag with a gilded metal buckle on the bow reworked in a heart shape. Vara shoes have mermaid-effect trompe-l’œil uppers in satin, inspired by a model from the archives, or in silk with contrasting crystal edging.
Gancini earrings feature layers of gold set with red rhinestones. Men’s accessories follow the black and red theme, such as in a wallet with a 3D texture that bears the Gancini logo, or a red tie woven with hearts.