For Autumn-Winter 2024, Maximilian Davis explores the 1920s through his distinctly defined perspective, distilling it to the essence of its liberated identities. Raised hems and fluid fabrics, dropped waists and relaxed cuts, the visual codes of an era of emancipation are reduced and refined for a collection that reflects the self-expression of the twenties – on both sides of the century. “The 1920s used clothing as a way to celebrate freedom,” explains Davis. “And that expression of freedom is something which resonates with me, with my heritage, and with Ferragamo.”

Alongside lacquered organdie dresses and hyper-feminine transparencies, feathered finishes and sequinned embroideries, the wardrobes of women who chose to dress in masculine silhouettes – Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo – are reflected in broad shoulders; heavy wools; supple leathers. In tailoring, sharp, sculptural lapels connote a surrealist spirit, their proportions distorted, the effect of their form echoing rayograph portraiture. Blanket capes – a staple within the Ferragamo archive – are employed as forms of protection. “In the twenties, as a response to the world that surrounded them, people created their own spaces through speakeasies,” explains Davis. “They were hiding what they were wearing until they were safe.”

Protection becomes an enduring theme. The uniforms of the period and the utilitarian workwear of fishermen – their thigh-high waders, their leather outerwear – offer formative inspiration, and manifest in a counterpoint to fluid drapery. Their forms are softened by their fabrications – wool mixed with cashmere for luxurious ease; leathers unlined for a relaxed finesse – while they imbue the collection with a fetishistic desirability.

In footwear, emblems of the era appear quietly pronounced: the sweetheart shape of a satin pump; an elegant T-bar atop a stiletto; a strappy sandal drawn from the archive. “I always strip things back,” explains Davis. “I like to take a rich part of history and then restrict it to make it cleaner, more modern.” In the spirit of androgyny, shoes also translate traditional brogue detailing and monk-strap buckles into cigarette-heel mules. For men, formal rigour is subtly subverted: a derby gently elongated for a slightly surreal impact, its heel geometrically squared. Elsewhere, utilitarian booties are gently swollen and square toed for a contemporary take on vintage silhouettes.

Accessories incorporate seasonal iterations of the iconic Hug bag – feathered; grained; rendered in the new Ferragamo monogram. In the ultimate expression of Ferragamo’s craftmanship, 950 laminated leather sequins are hand-applied over 19 hours for a mermaid scale effect. The Fiamma also comes in a new size and shaded animation to reflect the collection. For Autumn-Winter, a new style of handbag is also introduced: a super soft shape, closed with a Gancini, whose structure has been drawn from the shape of the symbol of Ferragamo’s home city of Florence: the lily.