Jeffrey Campbell Salvatore replicates Ferragamo Rainbow shoes from 1938

I mentioned in my last post that Jeffrey Campbell tends to draw inspiration from high-end designers for some of their styles, but I never expected to see the Jeffrey Campbell Salvatore (pictured above).  I noticed this shoe at Solestruck over the weekend and it definitely caught me by surprise because this shoe happens to be a near-replica of a shoe from way back in the archives of shoe history and one that I recognized from a post I did before:

If you haven’t seen this shoe, here’s a little history: It’s the ‘Rainbow’ shoe from famous shoe designer, Salvatore Ferragamo, who created this style in 1938 during The Great Depression.  He made these for Judy Garland (note: click 1930-1940 at the link to see the shoe), in an apparent nod to her “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” song from The Wizard of Oz (he also made her ruby slippers!).  They are currently on display at the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy and were remade in 2010 as part of Ferragamo’s Creations, a limited-edition line of shoes by Ferragamo (which is still a family-run company) that replicated shoes from early in the company’s archives.  The year 2010 marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Salvatore Ferragamo in 1960 and, in addition to reissuing select shoes that he made, Ferragamo also had a special exhibition at the Salvatore Feragamo Museum to commemorate the event.

It’s amazing to me that shoes as modern-looking as the Rainbow were made over 70 years ago, but Ferragamo was definitely a man ahead of his time.  He is credited as being the original creator of many shoe styles that are widely worn and imitated today: wedge heels, platform heels, metal-reinforced stiletto heels (made famous by Marilyn Monroe), cage heels and many more can all be traced back to his work.  He paved the way for making shoes with materials other than leather, like cork, metal wire, raffia and wood and he also made strides in the area of shoe comfort, studying anatomy and finding that arch support was key.  He held over 350 patents for his many inventions and we all enjoy the fruits of his labor and discoveries to this day.  He is a true shoe pioneer and you can see more detail on his history here.

Back to the Jeffrey Campbell Salvatore.  This Ferragamo knockoff, also available in a nude version in addition to the gold pair at the top, was just posted for sale for $184.95 at Solestruck on Saturday and it sold out in a mere two days.  Given the history of this shoe and its uniqueness, it’s not hard to see why.  It was quite a bold move for JC to produce a look-alike version for an iconic shoe like this, but when you think about Salvatore’s many innovations in the area of shoes, you come to the conclusion that almost any shoes available now are inspired by him in one way or another.  For that, we owe a big thanks to Ferragamo and his legacy, which is still going strong today.

Update: Urban Outfitters has a couple sizes in this shoe with a white upper for $199.  It’s now known as the Jeffrey Campbell Groovy (sold out).  Update 5/18/11: Lori’s Shoes has the Jeffrey Campbell Gidget for $152.  It has the same rainbow platform with a nude leather thong style on the upper.

Ferragamo images from

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One Response to “Jeffrey Campbell Salvatore replicates Ferragamo Rainbow shoes from 1938”

  1. Spring shoes in rainbow multicolor | Fairy Shoe Princess Says:

    […] and dramatic example is the Zigi Shoes Sundae (pictured top), a shoe modeled after the Ferragamo Rainbow shoes.  I mentioned these on my Facebook page when LuLus came out with them, but they have […]

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