Ferragamo Hits Brand Rejuvenation Milestone With FW 2023 Show In Milan

    Davis elevates the Fall 2023 wardrobe with hints of black, gray, midnight blue, and optic-white with the house’s signature red hue. Photo: Ferragamo
    Jing DailyAuthor
      Published   in Fashion

    Maximilian Davis' sophomore collection for Salvatore Ferragamo, presented on February 25 in Milan, returned to the Florentine house’s second home, Hollywood. Davis took inspiration from the wardrobes of stars like Sophie Loren and Marilyn Monroe, who Salvatore Ferragamo dressed in the 1950s.

    “I was interested in using their glamor and beauty, and their way of dressing, as a reference, but looking at how we could make it feel modern for today,” says Davis, who took over as Salvatore Ferragamo’s creative director in March, 2022.

    After leaning heavily into red for his debut show, titled New Dawn, Davis elevates the Fall 2023 wardrobe with hints of black, gray, midnight blue, and optic-white alongside the house’s signature red hue. The collection’s blue and white hues were echoed by the majestic venue, which featured optic-white fluffy flooring and midnight-blue background and lighting. The effect was like looking up at the moon.

    For Fall 2023, Davis renewed the codes of mid-century feminine glamor with cocoon cut, double-faced tailoring, and wide swing coat skirts.

    Alongside the designers’ structured tailoring and cinematic aesthetics, biker elements, artist Lucio Fontana’s cut canvas, and metallic textures were interspersed throughout – the effect was elegant and minimalist.

    “This is my take on what people from the 50s would think of the future: metallics and high shine,” explains Davis.

    The 27-year-old designer revamped the Italian maison’s archetypes: the 18-carat gold shoes manufactured in 1956, a handbag inspired by Spring 98’s silhouettes, and the reinterpreted Wanda bag.

    [wpgallery id="141509"]

    Davis renewed the codes of mid-century feminine glamor through the new Ferragamo lenses. Photo: Ferragamo

    Connecting with Chinese audiences#

    Despite the return of the Chinese contingent to live shows, livestreaming is indispensable for engaging Chinese audiences. Ferragamo broadcasted its show across its social channels in the mainland, including its official site, WeChat Mini Program, and Tmall Luxury Pavillion.

    After only a handful of China’s biggest fashion bloggers and KOLs made it back to Milan Fashion Week last season, A-listers including David Yang, Mr. Bags, Gogoboi, Anny Fan, and Cici Xiang sat front row for this iteration, helping generate 2.87 million views for the hashtag “FerragamoFW2023Show” on Weibo in one day.

    [wpgallery id="141514"]

    Chinese models David Yang and Cici Xiang, as well as fashion KOL Gogoboi were at Ferragamo’s show. Photo: Ferragamo

    On social platforms like Weibo and Xiaohongshu, netizens including fashion insiders such as Fil Xiaobai shared how they are impressed by the second collection of Davis. The modernity and minimalism touch of the collection also resonates with Chinese fashion lovers, receiving positive comments like “a smart balance between high fashion and day-to-day outfits.”

    A solid fiscal 2022#

    In January, Salvatore Ferragamo Group announced revenues of 1.34 billion (9.3 billion RMB) for 2022, the beginning of the group’s strategic refocus initiative, up 10.2 percent year on year, and beating analyst expectations.

    “We successfully pursued the quality of sales in our retail stores while also starting the optimization of our wholesale channel, amid a complex and volatile macroeconomic environment,” said CEO Marco Gobbetti, who was appointed to the role in January this year, in a statement.

    Retail distribution channel and wholesale channel net sales increased 11.3 percent and 13.6 percent year on year, respectively, proving the effectiveness of the house’s strategic endeavor. Though net sales in Asia-Pacific dropped 4.6 percent year on year, due to the lingering effects of COVID-19 in China, sales in the region are expected to pick up as the economy recovers.

    Envisioning a promising future#

    Whether it’s launching a new logo or appointing Gobbetti and Davis, Ferragamo has put much thought and effort into refreshing its brand image. In addition to boosting its branding and communications, the group announced a global partnership with online luxury platform Farfetch in August, 2022, which is intended to accelerate Ferragamo’s digital capabilities and create new shopping experiences to engage Millennial and Gen-Z audiences.

    Maximilian Davis joined Ferragamo as its new creative director in March 2022. Photo: Ferragamo
    Maximilian Davis joined Ferragamo as its new creative director in March 2022. Photo: Ferragamo

    More importantly, Ferragamo is attaching greater importance to China. According to the house’s financial statement, the group is “encouraged by the positive customers’ reaction in China” since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.

    “We are excited about the future potential of Ferragamo, thanks to the new product offering which will progressively increase its share throughout 2023, to the renewed brand image and to a strong management team now in place,” said Gobbetti.

    As consumer sentiment in China continues to pick up – Bain’s latest luxury report forecasts a rebound in the first quarter of this year – all the signs point to success for Ferragamo’s ambitions in China.

    Discover more
    Daily BriefAnalysis, news, and insights delivered to your inbox.