Ferragamo brings high art to luxury fashion for fall/winter 2023


Italian fashion house Ferragamo is celebrating a noteworthy historical era for a modern push.

The brand’s latest advertising campaign, titled “New Renaissance,” odes its namesake artistic time period in the city of its birth. Made with the cooperation of the famous Uffizi Gallery, home to some of the most famous paintings in the world, the fall/winter 2023 slot showcases all that Florence has to offer.

Firenze and friends

Florence sits at the heart of the new campaign, widely considered to be the center of the Renaissance.

The European city also hosts the Ferragamo headquarters and the beloved mansion of the founder. Drawing a line between a hailed artistic tradition and the luxury brand, Florence serves as the tether between them.

Like the Renaissance, humanism and craftsmanship anchor the fall/winter 2023 visuals.

Thanks to a collaboration with the Uffizi Gallery, the campaign includes a variety of some of the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th centuries’ most well-known pieces, opening with a model gazing into the camera in front of Giorgio Vasari’s Portrait of Alessandro de Medici, the first duke of Florence. Mr. Vasari, the painter, is considered by most in the Western world to be the first-ever art historian, known for his canonical works that document traditions and shape the field as it is practiced today — he was also the designer of the museum, which used to be offices for the de Medici clan.

The creation and a close-up of the young model’s face are the first to appear on screen, setting the tone for the entire collective. Florence’s Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore sits within the painting’s left hand side, opposite from the depiction of the de Medici family member — built from 1296 to 1436, the building has become a signature symbol of the Italian hub.

Shigeru Umebayashi’s “2046 Main Theme” plays, sounding distinctively classical with its use of strings, though composed for a film revolving around the literary genre of science fiction.

These meetings of the future and past create a middle ground, where references from history have a place in modernity. The dynamic is not only at play in the campaign, but in the clothing items themselves.

Draped fabrics, metallic shine and jewel tones, beloved in the Renaissance, are paired with fluffy jackets, bodycon fits and contemporary cuts.

Creative minds gather in the space, surrounded by artwork from those who led before. Image credit: Ferragamo

The models who don the interconnected styles mingle in a space adorned with the world-renowned painting, gathering around a table topped with pairs of shoes. A photographer sits with his back to the camera, tinkering with his craft, while the rest of them range from singers to creative producers to traditional models.

As the artistic figures slowly congregate around the footwear, the space begins to feel like a workshop, a shared setup between Ferragamo and Renaissance creatives — it should also be noted that Salvatore Ferragamo was a shoemaker from 12 years old onward, which began his fashion career, adding another level of significance to the tabletop items.

With the gallery’s permission, the label also dedicates individual landing pages on its website to a few of the paintings in honor of New Renaissance.

Francesco Granacci’s Giuseppe condotto in prigione is one of them, Ferragamo tying the artwork and its story — which is hashed out on the same page for those who do not know about the narrative — and linking it to a responding outfit from the collection. Purity and nuptial themes grounding the telling of the tale, a long, white, draped dress is shown in front of the classical piece.

Another core painting of the historical era, Annunciazione by Paolo Veronese, is one of the individual works given a spotlight.

The Christian story of the Virgin Mary is told through a modern lens, complemented by a stormy gray trench coat and oversized handbag worn by a male model who poses in front of the canvas.

Giovanni Bellini’s Allegoria sacra is also platformed, which like the other paintings, revives practices from the Greek Golden Age with new perspectives. Ferragamo adds another layer to the series, applying a 21st-century voice to the telling and presentation.

Shoes, the first fashion medium of Salvatore Ferragamo, with new artists creating community. Image credit: Ferragamo
Art at work

Many luxury maisons are turning to history’s creative minds and their projects in helping their modern products shine.

The Renaissance especially has proven to be a fruitful source of advertising for fashion brands, allowing Italian houses particularly to assert heritage and create space in a historically artistic country.

Some are pairing the era’s classical art with contemporary projects, revealing ways that ancient works can still interact with the field (see story), while others are doing similar things to Ferragamo, dropping entire collections that revolve around the treasured time in history.

This has been a specifically popular choice this year in 2023, as Beyoncé embarks on her Renaissance tour, partnering with luxury names to craft clothing and looks for the occasion.

French fashion label Balmain worked with the performer in March, codesigning a collection drawing on Renaissance traditions and the namesake tour’s album (see story). Plated tops, sun motifs and more ended up in the final cut of the array, which like Ferragamo, allowed centuries-old styles to still be a part of the conversation without sacrificing relevance.

This article originally appeared on LuxuryDaily.com.

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