Shoemaker of Dreams: The Autobiography of Salvatore Ferragamo
Any avid reader of the fashion genre can attest to the fact that the category is rife with biographies of the great designers, but there are scant few within the category of autobiography. The only one that comes to mind is that of the late Christian Dior, and now Shoemaker of Dreams has entered this particular niche. While a biography is usually lavishly illustrated and somewhat scholarly in its content due to the research required, here we have a designer “speaking” of his life in the first person. There is an intimacy here that cannot be matched by a life story written in the third person.
Shoemaker of Dreams turns out to be an enchanting, endearing and almost fairy tale-like telling of a child prodigy with big dreams. What, of course, is so peculiar is that the term prodigy is not exactly synonymous with a profession such as shoe making, and yet Salvatore Ferragamo was just that.
Trying not to be sound corny or trite, this story is somewhat of a Cinderella or rags to riches tale, but in the same breath one wishes that more young people had the grit and determination that lived within Salvatore Ferragamo. There are great object lessons offered to the reader, and one that speaks to the importance and support of one’s family, no matter what their hardships may have been.
This reader recommends Shoemaker of Dreams for every reader who has ever had a dream, and for every one of them to pass this book on to those of a younger generation so that they, too, can read that dreams do come true despite the naysayers. Maybe it’s an exercise in character building, for Ferragamo was a boy who became a man who held onto his dream and made it happen.