Italian shoe designer, Salvatore Ferragamo, has been credited with inventing the first stiletto in the 1950s. The shoe was a croc-embossed pump designed for the late Marilyn Monroe and that coveted heel might be considered a kitten heel compared to todays high flying styles.
[...] Born in 1898 in Bonito, near Avellino, Salvatore Ferragamo was the eleventh child in a family of 14 children. Ferragamo made his first pair of shoes for his sister at the age of nine for her confirmation. Young Salvatore decided that he had found his calling. He always had a passion for shoes. He studied shoemaking in Naples for a year then Ferragamo opened a small store in his parent’s home. In 1914, he emigrated to America, to live with one his brothers, a cowboy boot factory worker.
Ferragamo worked briefly with his brother at the factory, then moved to California - first Santa Barbara then Hollywood. It was here that Ferragamo found success, initially opening a shop for repair and made-to-measure shoes - prized items among celebrities during that time, leading to a life long hobby of designing footwear for the cinema. However, his thriving reputation as ‘Shoemaker to the Stars’ only partially satisfied him. He could not fathom why his shoes pleased the eye yet hurt the foot, so he proceeded to study anatomy at the University of Southern California.


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