Salvatore Ferragamo celebrated the re-opening of their Fifth Avenue flagship last night with a highly-spirited party attended by industry players and celebrities like Nina Garcia, Frederic Fekkai, and Solange Knowles. Guests navigated a floor filled with freshly-ice-luged drinks and a Ferragamo gelato cart as the model brand’s newest male face, Garrett Neff, was dispatched about the crowd to chat with VIPs and generally make all the ladies feel a bit giddy. [UPDATE: Neff told us he was the new face of the brand but Ferragamo's PR has confirmed that, well, he's not. Don't lie to us Garret!]
The store—which had undergone subtle updating in the past few months—is a treat for the brand’s devoted customers (myself included), who had been forced to shop in a smaller, temporary boutique beside Bergdorf Goodman throughout the renovation process. So with my go-to Ferragamo Vara's on, I navigated a crowd filled with editors, beaming salespeople (who were no doubt more than excited to regain flagship-scale commissions), and large-living clientele—including one couple who took it upon themselves to nearly christen one of the store’s upper-level couches (seriously there was straddling involved). But hey, the intoxicating scent of freshly varnished Italian leather could do that to nearly anyone.
“The store is the largest [Ferragamo] store in the world, it’s 20,000 square feet!” explained Vincent Ottomanelli, president of Ferragamo USA. “What we wanted to do with this store is create a warmer, elegant environment, that’s indicative of the Ferragamo family—they’re very warm people and a lot of what we do is a reflection of their family lifestyle, so you notice warmer wood, and beautiful leather couches—it’s a luxurious, intimate shopping experience.”
But the renovation was more about modernization than absolute change—a subtlety that makes sense for a brand whose consumers tend to value no-frills tradition. Yellowed lighting was exchanged for a brighter glow, shelving became more graphic, and overall things just looked better.
Click through to see more photos from the party.
Photos: Courtesy of Salvatore Ferragamo