When Fiamma succeded her father and “shoemaker to the stars” Salvatore Ferragamo, she was dubbed by the press “fashion’s teenager”. Since 1960, she matured fast enough to design multi-awarded styles, yet her most lasting accomplishment was the creation of the iconic Vara in 1978, a sporty and elegant pump to fit the aspirations of the busy modern woman.

Shoe Design and Manufacturing

It was supposed to feature a leather bow, yet a modeler at the atelier mistook a grosgrain sample to cause one of fashion’s most fortunate mistakes. Ever since, this grosgrain bow is secured with an oval metallic buckle stamped with the family signature. Fiamma wanted to celebrate her father’s quest for comfort, designing a round-toe classic pump with block mid-height heel that allows fair weight distribution. The toe box is roomy and balance is secured on every step. Each pair takes 10 days and 134 stages to make by hand.

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Vara and Its Icons

The most important woman in the history of Vara was Fiamma who quitted her studies when she was 16 to join the company and create a style that became part of a lady’s power suit and off-duty looks. Till today, this is fashion’s bestselling shoe. ‘It girls’ such as Alexa Chung, Lauren Santo Domingo, and Zooey Deschanel love it. As Olivia Palermo once put it: “Vara is iconic because it's timeless and incredibly elegant for any generation.”

Varina and Personalization

It’s Vara’s ballet flat sister, introduced in 2007 and adopted by Emma Robberts, Jessica Heart, blogger Susie Lau and other fashionistas. In 2013, the brand celebrated Vara’s 35th anniversary giving customers the opportunity to customize a Vara or Varina in preferred colors, materials, hardware and widths (narrow, standard, wide, extra wide). For the first time, they could add their initials to the sole. Lily Aldridge described it as: “the perfect flat. It's ideal to wear every day, and makes any outfit look effortlessly chic.” She and Miroslava Duma ordered a red base with nude accents.

Styling Vara and Varina

Because it’s preppy and sophisticated, models tend to contrast it with ripped jeans and denim overalls. Yet they still combine it with girly mini-length skirts and bouncy dresses. In the office, you can attach it to your corporate uniform of blazer, cropped cigarette pants and button-down shirts. Front-row we’ve seen it with shorts. It also complements other classic pieces, including a trench coat or a little black dress. For FW16 try a Vara or Varina with crystal-studded details, printed floral motif, Plexiglas heel or denim-like effect.

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