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High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email email@example.com to buy additional rights. Palazzo Spini Feroni, the 13th-century headquarters of the Salvatore Ferragamo shoe dynasty, is a showstopper. Rich tapestries and paintings dress the walls of its high-ceilinged rooms. A landmark in Florence, its grandeur invariably reduces visitors to a hushed silence. Yet Ferruccio Ferragamo, the chairman of the group and firstborn son of shoemaker to the stars Salvatore Ferragamo, remembers it in less opulent – and noisier – days more than half a century ago. High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to buy ferragamo belt outlet \ When I was little, in the next room cobblers were making shoes,” he says tilting his head towards what is today one of several drawing rooms. “I can remember that lovely sound. It is a unique sound of a wooden last covered in leather, with a hammer tapping on top. It is musical, it gets in the blood.” Blood is no small matter for the Ferragamo family. Shoes and blood ties have made this tribe, as its members like to call it, one of the world’s best known business dynasties. Salvatore Ferragamo, the brand known for its bow-tied ballerina shoes, had revenues last year of €1.3bn and as of December had 620 stores worldwide. A third of its shares are listed on the stock exchange in Milan, while the majority of the company remains owned by more than 70 descendants of the shoemaker from Naples who made it big in 1920s Hollywood at barely 20 years old. As a rags-to-riches story it has few equals. By the time Ferragamo returned to Italy in 1927 he had become so famous for his supple, stylish shoes that later stars such as Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren came for personal fittings. He was even able to buy Palazzo Spini Feroni, initially renting out most of the floors to help fund the monthly payments. Ferruccio Ferragamo, then a young boy, ferragamo factory says he was always “impressed to hear my father was attending Audrey Hepburn or a queen of somewhere”. But behind the fashion legend, the Ferragamo story is a study in how a second, third and fourth generation of descendants stuck together to turn their ancestor’s talent into a global business.