ANNOUNCED THE LIFETIME AWARDEES
FOR THE 2019 FLORENCE BIENNALE – DESIGN
Unveiling this year in a dedicated space at the Fortezza da Basso, in the Spadolini pavilion, is the Design exhibition to be held within the framework of the XIIth Florence Biennale, scheduled from 18 to 27 October 2019, and as usual showcasing works by contemporary artists from around the world. The forthcoming edition, themed ‘ARS ET INGENIUM. Toward Leonardo da Vinci’s legacy of Similitude and Invention’, will thus shed light on art and design as two separate yet conjoining spheres of creativity.
The outstanding personalities receiving the Lorenzo il Magnifico lifetime achievement awards for the arts, namely Franco Zeffirelli, Gustavo Aceves, and Refik Anadol have already been disclosed, along with the recipients of the special lifetime achievement awards from the President, Anthony Howe and Mice Jankulovski.
At this stage, the Florence Biennale steering committee is delighted to announce that theLeonardo da Vinci Lifetime Achievement Awards for Design will be bestowed to two internationally acclaimed talents who have excelled outstandingly in the design domains. One of them is Paula Scher, principal of the Pentagram studio in New York specialising in communication and graphic design. The other is Elsa Peretti, fashion and jewellery designer with Tiffany & Co. Furthermore, the Leonardo da Vinci Award for Design will be bestowed to Wanda and Salvatore Ferragamo in memoriam.
Looking forward to unveiling the forthcoming XIIth edition, Florence Biennale have released a video to present the international Juries of either the Art and Design contests, which will gather exhibiting artists and designers from many different countries in Florence, at the Fortezza da Basso.
In 1923, Salvatore Ferragamo opened the Hollywood Boot Shop and began his career as “shoemaker to the stars”, as the press called him at the time. His loyal customers included celebrities, and his popularity grew. Salvatore was ahead of his time, and he revolutionised the fashion of the times by opening women’s shoes, which until then had been laced and closed. He made them more elegant and more comfortable; he created the first sandals. His success was so great that he could not keep up with orders. However, American craftsmanship was not up to the task of making the kind of shoes he had in mind, and in 1927, Ferragamo decided to return to Italy to open a workshop in Florence. Salvatore Ferragamo’s shoes became a symbol of Italy around the world through his many inventions, including the steel-reinforced stiletto heel made famous by Marilyn Monroe, the gold sandal and the invisible sandal with an upper made out of fishing line. Salvatore Ferragamo died in 1960, after achieving world renown and international success.
Wanda Miletti Ferragamo’s husband Salvatore made his name creating shoes for movies and fitting them to the feet of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Wanda Ferragamo made her name with a commitment to excellence and innovation. A careful custodian of tradition and of the quality of the family name, Wanda Ferragamo has always been aware that there was a great step forward to be made: to realize Salvatore’s great dream to create other products in addition to shoes that would complete a woman’s look. With tenacity and passion, she and her six children have transformed the shoe company into a world-renowned fashion house with a full range of luxury products. Beyond glamour and cache Ferragamo is considered one of the most successfully run family businesses in the world. Wanda’s acumen was widely recognized in financial and business circles.
Elsa Peretti is an Italian jewellery designer and a philanthropist. She was born in Florence, Italy, on May 1, 1940. In 1968 she moved to New York City on the advice of Wilhelmina Modeling Agency, where she worked as a fashion model for Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Giorgio di Sant’Angelo, and begins creating jewellery pieces. In 1971 she received the Coty Award in Jewellery design. In 1972 Bloomingdale’s, one of New York’s landmark shopping stores, opened a dedicated Peretti boutique. In 1974, Peretti signed a contract with Tiffany & Co.
Her first collection has been a worldwide success. Silver is the metal she loves most, and she brings it to the high level of jewellery. “Diamonds by the Yard”, “Open Heart” and “Bone Cuff” are still expression of a modern and contemporary design. Her “Bottle” and the “Mesh” are milestones in the history of the jewellery design of the 20th century. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary with Tiffany, FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) created “The Elsa Peretti Professorship in Jewelry Design” as recognition of her amazing career, and conferred her the Fine Arts PhD.
Elsa Peretti’s works are included in the permanent collections of prestigious museums, such as the Bristish Museum in London and the MET of New York. In 2000, she created a charity in honour of her father, called the “Nando e Elsa Peretti Foundation”, which has given more than 50 million euros to 1000 projects world-wide over the last 20 years.
The Foundation focuses on combating poverty, promotion of human and civil rights, support to education and health, medical research, environment and wildlife conservation, and it also promotes culture and the arts. The Foundation is based in Rome and Barcelona.
Paula Scher is one of the most acclaimed graphic designers in the world. She has been a principal in the New York office of the distinguished international design consultancy Pentagram since 1991, where she has designed identity and branding systems, environmental graphics, packaging and publications for a wide range of clients that includes, among others, Citibank, Microsoft, Bloomberg, Shake Shack, the Museum of Modern Art, Tiffany & Co, the High Line, the Public Theater, the Metropolitan Opera, the Sundance Institute and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
During the course of her career Scher has been the recipient of hundreds of industry honors and awards; she is a recipient of the National Design Award for Communication Design, the AIGA medal and the Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design, among others. Scher has served on the Public Design Commission of the City of New York from 2006- 2015. She is an established artist exhibiting worldwide, and her designs are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, the Library of Congress, the Victoria and Albert Museum and other institutions.
She is the author of “Make It Bigger” (Princeton Architectural Press, 2002) “MAPS” (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011) and “Works” (Unit Editions, 2017). Scher holds a BFA from the Tyler School of Art and a Doctor of Fine Arts Honoris Causa from the Corcoran College of Art and Design, the Maryland Institute College of Art and Moore College of Art and Design. A documentary on her and her work can be seen in the 2017 Netflix series Abstract: The Art of Design.