Flicking through the latest US Vogue this month, I was stopped by an article written by Plum Sykes in which she was testing out the new customisation feature that Ferragamo have recently launched for their iconic bow shoe - L'Icona.



You can choose your heel colour, bow colour and body colour of the shoe, and the shoes are made for you, to your specifications, with your monogram on the sole on a gold plate. This last part seems to have sent many bloggers into a state of sheer overexcitement. Currently this service is not available to Australia.

Marina Larroude

The images and advertisement look seductively lovely... they've worked with some young international fashionistas to update the overall look. Seductive pictures of stylish young women in hip clothing with their Ferragamos on ....which has been called Granny Chic by some.

Lauren Remington Platt

Now I'm quite partial to Ferragamo. Just not the classic "Vara" bow shoe (first invented in 1978). This is because these shoes are linked forever in my mind with my Mother and her friends. For a certain set of women over the age of 60, the Ferragamo bow shoe is the shoe to wear. My Mother, known in the family as Imelda for her love of shoes, had 6 pairs in various colours and heel heights. These were her favourite shoes, always worn for a Wedding/ Dinner or lunch out/ anywhere she wanted to dress up for. As I have previously explained, the only person that wore the same shoe size as my Mother was me, but when clearing out her wardrobes last year, I couldn't take the Ferragamos home with me. I just knew that I'd never wear them. It would feel not only ageing on the one hand, but as if I were playing dress ups with something that was far too... grown up for me. Mr AV agrees with me - his Mother loves them too, and he associates them with an older woman. I took some of Mum's ballet flats of other brands, and the Ferragamos went off to the consignment store and were sold in a flash.

Olivia Palermo

So in looking at these lovely images, have I felt a pang of regret for not keeping and wearing these shoes? Well, sort of, and sort of not. They are still the shoes of choice for my Mother/ Mother in Law and my Grandmother. I'm not sure that any trendy colour combination and monogram is going to make me feel differently about thinking of them as their shoes, and not mine. I do love the classic look of the shoes, but they're just not my classic. Perhaps its part of always trying not to look like our Mothers when we grow up? I'm not sure. But I will say that Ferragamo has shown some absolutely genius marketing in putting these shoes into the realm of the 20 year old who has no such association with them, and giving them a new breath of life to continue on.

Miroslava Duma

All images via Ferragamo

22 comments:

  1. Oh Heidi! You beat me to it LOL...First Ruth does the investment thing and now you have done the flats. I think I might retire hehe. You took the words straight out of my mouth. Looove the marketing - I knew it worked bc I actually looked at the shoes instead of just flipping through and thinking - whatevs. As lovely as it is, I just feel it is soon going to be such a fashion cliche like tory burch slippers so I might just enjoy looking at them on everyone else and save my money. x

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    1. Ha! I laughed at your comment on Ruth's post, because I was planning a post on Investment dressing too... pipped at the post. It's fab marketing... even the music they use on the ad on the website is very aspirational/ nostalgic/ otherworldly in a way. The Ferragamos might be more comfortable than Tory's Riva's... I have a pair of hers and they still shred my heels 3 years after buying them. xx

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  2. It's certainly genius marketing especially using Olivia Palermo who looks stunning in her easy to wear outfit. I'm admiring those lemon pants with the short trench too

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    1. All those girls look amazing... if we all wear the shoes, maybe we can capture some of the magic?!

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  3. Oh I couldn't wear them either, they are "mummy' shoes, Varas are what you get when you start picking up your pension, but yes love the pics above.

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    1. You've made me laugh... you'd need quite a pension to buy a pair! xx

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  4. I have to say I have always felt that Ferragamo are a little staid... and of course this sort of clever marketing and re-launching of the shoe might serve to change this! I am so happy that I can leave the fashion blogging to you clever young girls!! I love my Chanel ballet flats - one black pair and a nude and black pair - they last for years and are always available... and they are comfortable whereas the Ferragamos are also very narrow? xx

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    1. I've always thought the same thing Jenny, but when I was in the Ferragamo flagship store last year in Florence, I was completely seduced by it all...the clothes were just lovely (but the prices!!). Chanel ballet flats are a classic.. not sure about the fit of the Ferragamos, I don't think they'd be too narrow though, as Mum's feet were normal width, they might just look narrow? A bit like the Roger Viviers? xx

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  5. This is pure marketing genius!
    I was looking at Varas a couple of weeks ago in the Sydney store! I actually love them, as they fit my shoe criteria (low chunky heel, toe not too pointy). They also do small sizes and widths!! Post ankle-gate I am feeling love for a more matronly shoe, too.
    However, I can't do the bow. I'm just not the bow type.

    I wonder if I could get some without a bow? I'd love some aquamarine blue ones.
    Although what I'd really like is some low-heeled Nicholas Kirkwood shoes I spied on NAP.....

    Heidi, I completely 'get' how you couldn't wear your mother's Varas. They are a bit 'mature' - I always think of older ladies and the Queen when I see them. They are very poplular here with super chic, petite Asian ladies of a certain age.

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    1. It is marketing genius! I had taken those shoes to the consignment store with narry a backward glance... then I started to think about it after I saw these pictures!! I'm the same, I can't do the bow like that, a flat bow maybe, but it's just a little bit perky on the Vara's. And agree with you about the mature or Asian lady look to them. Somehow the young Asian girls seem to carry it off a bit better that I would. xx

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  6. This is such a great idea. I think the more a company allows its customers to customise items, the more successful it will be.
    When shopping I always know what I am looking for, so being able to choose colours etc would appeal to me and no doubt, many other people.

    I have never tried Ferragamo shoes, but I always admire their range of shoes in David Jones.

    I am currently in love with Lanvin flats, mostly due to their minimalistic look. Currently saving up for a second pair.

    I understand how hard it must have been to clear out your mother's wardrobe; it is really nice that you were able to keep some of her shoes.

    Fifi xxx

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    1. I think that in this world of homogeny, it's a very good idea to allow people to feel ownership over the shoe by picking colours. Love Lanvin flats, but they are very $$, and I wear through my ballet flats to quickly to justify buying a pair.

      Am v. glad I cleared her wardrobe out last year, and don't have it hanging over my head. Wasn't much fun at the time... xx

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  7. I am not really into monograming my shoes, but Varinas are on my shopping list for when we go to the States in the hopefully-not-so-distant-future.

    <3

    B

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    1. Will be a much nicer souvenir of your trip than a t-shirt B! Nice goal to save up for - I bought shoes on my trip o/s last year... I think of the trip when I wear the boots (which is constantly in Winter) xx

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  8. Gorgeous! I must say you're right so so clever how they're getting the most beautiful of young women behind them, women who are their own best stylists - Olivia Palermo never gets it wrong. I don't think I've ever been anywhere near a pair of Ferragamos in my life. Dad was a milkman turned fruit shop owner with Mum and I have yet to be introduced to the fabulosity of the F bow!

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    1. I think you'd be able to pull them off somehow - I don't think I can! But yes, Olivia is always perfection and makes those shoes look very, very good. xx

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  9. Our internet is so slow the photos aren't loading completely! I know the shoes you mean though and think they are definitely for the more mature lady... I would love to see them styled in a younger, hipper way but no luck today with my computer....!

    I have some things I can't wear as they make me think I am dressing like my Mum and other articles of clothing she wears that I happily duplicate. It is quite strange when I think about it.

    Hope you are having a lovely weekend Heidi.

    xx

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    1. That is so frustrating with your Internet!! One of the pitfalls of living in the country I spose... although we've had our share of Internet problems in the city - takes months (and an ombudsman complaint) to get any service.

      My mum had some nice things, but definitely not my style. The only thing we matched up on was in ballet flats, she'd eye off any new purchases of mine!

      Weekend has been busy!! Hope aside from the Internet all is well on the farm. xx

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  10. I am going to buck the trend of the other commenters: I love Ferragamo. I haven't bought any shoes for 5 years or so but got lots in the first few years of working. They are really comfortable and you can get different widths. Each pair I have I still use the in office today and get compliments. Their prices used to be ok and they had wonderful sales. x

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    1. Suspect the sale days are over if they are revived as the latest thing! I think they'd probably look lovely on you - I actually don't mind them on other people, they just make me feel old if I wear them. I'm not a huge bow person either, so it could be that the bow is the bit I struggle with - the Roger Viviers are quite similar in style, but the buckle on them suit my personal style a little more (not that I have a pair... more that they're also a classic shoe in a similar style). xx

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  11. I suspect I'm a wee bit older than you Heidi. My Mum and Dad gave me everything I needed growing up but were battlers and I always envied the other mother's attire when attending my private school P & T. Ferragamo shoes are still a "'one day' I'll own a pair item" for me. By the time I do, they'll suit me chronologically too! I personally love the campaign though...anything to promote our young girls as ladies rather than cool and sporting tats and multiple piercings! x kl

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    1. True enough about the young girls KL! Hope you get your shoes one day xx

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