HAPPENINGS: Luxury Italian maison Ferragamo unveiled a new look for its Elements mall boutique. To celebrate the event, the brand invited our city's fashionable elite and VIP customers to a soiree. We spotted model-couple Anthony Sandstrom and Jocelyn Luko-Sandstrom catching up with photographer Sean Lee-Davies, and actress Karena Lam admiring the brand's exquisite leather goods. Also on scene was fashionsita Feiping Chang and party frequenter Sue Lynn Hwa.

The brand is proud of its craftsmanship, says James Ferragamo, women's and men's shoes and leather goods division director. And to celebrate the reopening of the boutique, a craftsman was especially flown in from Florence to demonstrate the brand's skills. Guests were delighted and we even spotted actor Julian Cheung sharing a laugh with the hardworking craftsman. 


OVERHEARD I love these adorable canapés which are shaped like the brand’s bags. They’re almost too cute to eat.


5 Minutes with James Ferragamo


How important is heritage to the maison?

Salvatore Ferragamo's heritage has been kept alive through generations and is essential to the development of the brand because it is our essence. We focus on the brand’s “inherited legacy” dictated by my grandfather. Our creativity and ongoing search for innovation, the value of made-in-Italy products, and top-quality craftsmanship play an important role in our business. We are proud of our legacy and we consider it a veritable patrimony: without it Ferragamo would not have been able to grow and establish itself as one of the leading Italian luxury brands and an example of successful entrepreneurship.

What's the synergy among different departments within Salvatore Ferragamo?

I think the key again is our heritage. From shoes and handbags to clothing, every department looks to our history not only for design cues, but in keeping with our philosophy to create products that are practical and comfortable, as well as impeccably classic and stylish, with a modern edge.

Do you feel today's clients are moving on from logo-centric designs to more subtle luxurious accessories that highlight savoir faire and heritage?

I think the perception of luxury that today’s clients have is definitely changing. They look for subtlety but, at the same time, a product that exudes luxurious quality and craftsmanship. I think we tick all the boxes, and our heritage and savoir faire are easy to [notice] because some of our designs are such icons today – to many they are like a certification of authenticity or guarantee of quality.

What do you think of the "It" bag trend or is it not as relevant these days?

“It” bags are something of a collector’s item that has value, something you can pass down from generation to generation. And of course, an “It” bag is something that also represents a brand – so I do think it is important. Our Fiamma handbag is a classic – a masterpiece of leather craft whose ultra-sophisticated design reflects all the inherent traits of Ferragamo’s identity. It is named after my late aunt Fiamma, one of Salvatore’s daughters, who was designer of footwear and leather accessories for the House for almost 40 years. [The bag] is dedicated to all the women in our family who have always played a central role in the development of our business. Fiamma embodies our brand at its best; it is set to become a veritable landmark among Ferragamo products.

What do you think has been the most effective strategy you've implemented since you took over the department?

The power of a brand's authentic heritage is undeniable, and therefore, we include our iconic elements in most of our accessories – such as the signature Vara bow and Gancino pattern. In celebration of the reopening of Elements boutique, Salvatore Ferragamo has debuted two new exclusive colourways of the Vany Bag and Mini-Bag Wallet, all featuring the signature Vara bow.

What is your definition of luxury?

Luxury products are products that are made with premium quality materials and refined craftsmanship; products that are attractive in the eyes of a customer, something that they want, appreciate and aspire for. In my definition, Salvatore Ferragamo is a luxury brand, and our products drive the actual need in someone who truly appreciates the art of craftsmanship and understands the meaning of luxury.