Ferragamo handbags this season are of calfskin, patent and nappa leather, although some still continue to feature unusual fabrics. 'Shapes are simple - for example, the round flat hobo bag and the over-exaggerated large shoulder bag with short straps,' said Rebecca Lau, assistant manager of marketing at Salvatore Ferragamo. For shoes its traditional Italian day look is made more feminine by subtle emphasis on certain details - very thin high heels and wedges, and long pointed toes or sexy thigh-high boots. The Angolino collection of leather accessories features the trademark F in gilded metal and uses lizard and crocodile leather. The Metropolis line of bags with the classic mini-hook in opaque palladium comes in smooth or printed woven calf with signature hardware in aged brass. 'New for 1997 is the Classico line. The accessories are made of calf and crocodile skin, personalised with an opaque metal plate on a wide range of bags and luggage,' Ms Lau said. The Ferragamo group is now based in Florence where it has design studios, offices and a museum. The Asia-Pacific, where it has 144 sales outlets including those in Hong Kong, represents 26 per cent of its global sales. Born in 1898 in Bonito, Italy, Salvatore Ferragamo was the eleventh of 14 children. He left school when he was nine to become a shoemaker. In 1928, he moved to Hollywood and made shoes for stars such as Rudolph Valentino and Joan Crawford. During the post-war period, Salvatore continued to make shoes for the stars, including reinforced metal stilettos for Marilyn Monroe. Last year, Ferragamo acquired control of the Paris fashion house, Emanuel Ungaro, and this year has joined forces with Bulgari, a jeweller, to produce perfume and cosmetics for launch next year.