After making his first pair of shoes at age nine, for his sisters to wear at their confirmation, young Salvatore decided that he had found his calling. He always had a passion for shoes. When Ferragama and his brothers moved to Hollywood, Ferragamo found success by opening a shop for repair and made-to-measure shoes, which soon became prized items among celebrities of the day, leading to a long period of designing footwear for the cinema. However, he could not accept why his shoes pleased the eye but hurt the foot, so he proceeded to study anatomy.
He returned to Italy in 1927, and around 1950 had a workforce of around 700 experts that produced 350 pairs of handmade shoes a day.
Ferragamo was recognized as a visionary, and his designs ranged from the strikingly bizarre objet d'art to the traditionally elegant. He died in 1960 at the age of 62, but the international company, which has expanded its line with luxury shoes, bags, eyewear, silk accessories, watches, perfumes and a ready-to-wear clothing line. At his death his wife Wanda and later their six children (Fiamma, Giovanna, Fulvia, Ferruccio, Massimo and Leonardo) ran the Ferragamo company. There is a rule that only 3 members of the family can work at the company, prompting fierce competition.