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‘Comfort first and no limit to beauty (or creativity) second’ went the adage of craftsman shoemaker Salvatore Ferragamo. Now 40 years after its introduction in 1978, a revamped Vara bow bootie shows that sometimes, you don’t even have to compromise.

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Salvatore Ferragamo
Platform Varina Ballet Flat
Salvatore Ferragamo
Platform Varina Ballet Flat

By Anaïs Conijn

Salvatore Ferragamo was a true craftsman and innovator of shoe design, who never let the comfort of the women he was designing shoes for escape his attention. It was this lesson that his young daughter Fiamma took on board as she studied under her father’s inspired guidance. When he suddenly died in 1960, Fiamma, barely nineteen years old at the time, continued to carry the torch.


It is from her creative mind that Ferragamo’s most successful shoe design sprung: the Vara shoe, practical yet elegant with a manageable heel adorned by a bow from grosgrain - a happy accident stemming from a misinterpretation of the design! The Vara bow has graced the toes of women as diverse as Margaret Thatcher to Alexa Chung attesting to the versatility of the design.

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Varina Ballet platform Salvatore Ferragamo

Now, in an update to celebrate its 40th birthday, the design has undergone a subversive twist, mixing the romantic vara silhouette with a soft leather booty for a snug, sock-like fit. Retaining the round toe, iconic bow and contrasting metal plate, and its comfortable heel, this is the shoe for the young creative that takes a stroll through the museum in her lunch break.


For a night on the town, Ferragamo mixes the romantic vara silhouette with an on trend thigh-high edition. The supple, leg-hugging leather widens at the top for a comfortable fit. Set on a sturdy heel, this is the uncompromising revamp that refuses to forego fashion for comfort.

Product credit:

Vara Bow Bootie crafted from soft leather with a sock-like fit, SALVATORE FERRAGAMO.


Photography Ruben de Wilde

Styling Koen T. Hendriks (Eric Elenbaas Agency)

Hair & Makeup Kathinka Gernant (Unspoken Agency)

Model Daphne Simons (Models Rock Agency)