Salvatore Ferragamo’s Sofia Tote Is a Tribute to Sophia Loren

Celebrities influence our everyday lives in many ways. With their far-reaching impact, designers have used some of these A-listers as muses for their projects, creating some iconic items. Designer Salvatore Ferragamo paid tribute to his longtime customer, actor Sophia Loren, with an iconic bag.

Who is Sophia Loren?

sophia loren
A headshot of the Italian film actress Sophia Loren who became a leading sex symbol. Sophia Loren won an Academy Award for her performance in the 1961 film La Ciociara. | Getty Images

Sophia Loren entered a beauty pageant at 15 as Sofia Lazzaro and continued with that stage name throughout her early career. She started acting when she took on an uncredited role in Quo Vadis when she was 16.

She changed her name to Sophia Loren when she met her husband Carlo Ponti, who also changed her public image to appeal to a broader audience. Loren landed her first leading role in 1953 when she appeared in Aida. Her performance received acclaim. And she followed the movie with Two Nights with Cleopatra.

However, it wasn’t until 1954 that she landed her breakthrough role in The Gold of Naples. That same year she appeared in Too Bad She’s Bad and followed it up with La Bella Mugnaia in 1955. After signing a five-picture contract with Paramount Pictures, Loren achieved international stardom with Desire Under the Elms.

Her role in Heller in Pink Tights saw her appear in movies for the first time as a blonde. Her performance in the gritty 1960 film Two Women earned her acclaim and awards, including an Academy Award and the Cannes Film Festival’s best performance prize. She also won 22 international awards for the role.

Loren was initially cast as the daughter in Two Women but fought against it, fearing typecasting, eventually landing the part to play the mother. Her career went on an upward trajectory appearing in The Fall of the Roman Empire, The Millionaires, A Countess from Hong Kong, and A Special Day.

Salvatore Ferragamo paid tribute to Sophia Loren with her own bag

Salvatore Ferragamo was a shoe designer from Italy and the founder of a luxury retailer. The designer was known for his experiments using animal skin, including fish, crocodile, and kangaroo skin, as materials for his shoes.

According to L’Officiel, Loren was a frequent and valued customer of Ferragamo’s and his close friend. The star often wore Ferragamo’s creations in her movies and daily life alongside actors like Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland. Ferragamo wanted to honor his valued client and their relationship using the iconic Sofia Bag.

Although Ferragamo died in 1960, his family introduced the Sofia Bag in 2009, paying tribute to the famed actor and her loyalty to the business. The bag has gotten more popular over the years and has become the IT bag.

Other celebrities who have been muses for designer bag companies

When Ralph Lauren married his wife Ricky Loew-Beer, he found inspiration. The designer later introduced the Ricky Bag. The bag depicts her ability to blend pieces with inspiration sourced from equestrian detailing and classic silhouettes.

Victoria Beckham named a bag after her best friend Eva Longoria in 2018. The pair share a long-lasting friendship that began when Beckham moved to Los Angeles. The Eva Bag is a cross-body style bag that pays tribute to the pair’s friendship.

Grace Kelly started carrying her namesake bag long before Hermés named it after her. Kelly famously used the trapezoid-shaped bag to protect her growing baby bump from paparazzi when she got pregnant with the Prince of Monaco’s child. Hermés renamed the bag after her in 1977.

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