Ferragamo’s Step

This article on the handover of a family-run fashion business appeared in Fortune and is archived below.

January 22, 2007
Ferragamo’s Step
The family-owned Italian shoe business, now in its third generation, tries on its first outside CEO.

By Stephan Faris

Last summer Wanda Ferragamo ordered a special gift for her 22 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren. The fashion-family matriarch took a plastic Weeble, the egg-shaped doll that wobbles but doesn’t fall down, and had it recast as foot-tall artisinal silver statues. Hand-soldered lace curled around 45 bellies. “My Dears,” read the inscribed dedication, “regain your balance and continue straight on the path of principles and moral rectitude shown to you.”

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