Greta Garbo, the Swedish Sphinx, and Salvatore Ferragamo, the ‘Shoemaker of Dreams’, as his autobiography is titled, met in what was to be a small chapter in these two great figures’ historic lives.
Their first encounter lasted just long enough for Ferragamo to create a pair of custom-made shoes. The year was 1927 and the place was Hollywood, before Salvatore returned to Florence to found his company in Italy.
The star continued to buy her shoes at the ‘Hollywood Boot Shop’ while it remained under Ferragamo’s ownership and later she went to Saks Fifth Avenue in New York.
In August 1949, the pair met again in Florence. “As young as when I first met her“ Greta Garbo entered the shop with an old pair of cord sandals. “I don’t have any shoes,” she said, “and I want to walk.”
This is how the idea first came about for an exhibit on the legend of Greta Garbo beyond the silver screen, a show on one of the most mysterious icons of an era when the new art of film was just beginning to experiment with its ability to seduce and influence the masses.
Photo Credit picture n.1: Foto Locchi, Firenze
Photo Credit pictures n.2; n.3 and n. 5: Clarence Sinclair Bull
Photo Credit picture n.4: Cecil Beaton