1939 : Milan store opens. World War II begins. Exports soon cease; Salvatore Ferragamo ordered to make shoes for Mussolini’s war effort.

1927 : Looking to expand but faced with high production costs and a lack of skilled craftsmen, Salvatore Ferragamo returns to Italy and founds the true Ferragamo brand. Sets up a factory in Florence and trains local artisans. Beginning a long relationship with the company, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus are among the first outside retailers to carry Ferragamo shoes.