Since its introduction in 1978, Salvatore Ferragamo’s most recognizable shoe, the Vara (mid-heel patent leather with a grosgrain bow) and Varina flat have sheathed the soles of sophisticates the world over from Lee Radziwill to Babe Paley to C.Z. Guest.
To commemorate Vara’s 35th anniversary, the Italian house asked L.A.-based portrait photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank to create L’Icona, a digital portfolio of 21 beguiling women—including actress Lake Bell, Moda Operandi Co-founder and Vogue Contributing Editor Lauren Santo Domingo, and filmmaker Chiara Clemente—in custom Ferragamos fashioned from a rainbow of patent leather and ribbon.
Swanson Frank collaborated with her subjects on styling and scouting. For designer Minnie Mortimer, “The fact that these shoes can feel completely fresh and totally timeless at the same time is a tribute to the strength of Ferragamo’s design.” icona.ferragamo.com.
Written by Genevieve Bahrenburg and Annina Mislin
Photographed by Claiborne Swanson Frank for L’Icona at icona.ferragamo.com.