Fashion Fact #6

Salvatore Ferragamo invented the cork wedge.

Ferragamo is also credited for inventing the stiletto heel, however it is not confirmed on the Salvatore Ferragamo website (surely they’d be showing off about something like this?) and as this is called Fashion Facts, I don’t want to announce something that isn’t a hard fact.

Left, a 1942 cork and raffia heel, and right, a 1947 "invisible sandal."

The cork wedge was invented in 1938 (one of the first fashion patents) but Ferragmo worked with a lot of unusual materials, like raffia and cork, later during war time as resources were limited. Ferragmo also invented the “invisible sandal,” a wedge with clear plastic straps. I wrote an ode to Ferragamo last year, as I am totally obsessed with his creations, particularly the 1938 rainbow wedge, also made of cork. Despite the brand now being associated with the rather boring Vara shoe, Ferragamo was one of the true footwear pioneers, creating some of the most extraordinary high heeled shoes of the last century.

Left, a 1931 shoe inspired by Egyptian artifacts, and right, the famous Vara shoe, Ferragamo's most well-known design.

Read other Fashion Facts:
Fashion Fact #1 Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent went to the same fashion design school
Fashion Fact #2 Donna Karan invented the bodysuit
Fashion Fact #3 Halston pioneered the concept of a brand ambassador in fashion
Fashion Fact #4 Charles Worth was the first fashion designer

All images from the Salvatore Ferragamo website.