Until a few weeks ago, the entrepreneur had played an active role in the well-known Florentine shoe company. She died on Friday at the age of 96 years.

Wanda Ferragamo

Italy mourns for its “shoe queen” Wanda Ferragamo. The entrepreneur founded the same shoe company with her husband Salvatore Ferragamo (1898-1960) in Florence. Until a few weeks ago, she served as honorary president of the luxury company. She died on Friday in Fiesole near Florence, as her family announced.

Born in southern Italy, Wanda Miletti married Salvatore Ferragamo at the age of 18, later on becoming one of the world’s most prestigious footwear manufacturers. His clients included Hollywood stars and kings. The company founder worked for Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren. After years in the US, the couple Ferragamo founded his shoe production in Florence.

When Salvatore Ferragamo died in 1960, the 39-year-old widow and six young children took over the management of the company, which today has 4,000 employees and 630 shops. Under her leadership, the group transformed from an Italian shoe company into an international luxury group run today by Wanda’s son Ferruccio Ferragamo and his siblings.

The Group, which has been listed on the Milan Stock Exchange since 2011, recently reported a turnover of 1.4 billion euros in 2017. The company denied repeated rumors about a possible sale. Ex-Gucci manager Micaela Le Divelec Lemmi was named the new CEO Ferragamos in July.

Sources: Die Presse