Australian footwear brand Diana Ferrari is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, honouring four decades of trade in the Australian footwear industry.
Beginning in 1979, the brand was born through the purchase of the Diana Shoe Company – a small, family-owned leather goods factory in the Melbourne suburb of Preston.
Upon cleaning the factory for the handover, the owner found an old last that was the basis for the most popular shoe the business made. The former owners presented it to the new owners as the 'Ferrari' last and the name Diana Ferrari was born.
Throughout its history the brand has remained committed to using high-quality leather and building expertise on traditional leather shoemaking techniques.
In a statement, Diana Ferrari said that the business found success in the fashion footwear space in the 80s with two distinct styles.
"Diana Ferrari’s first foray into fashion came in 1980 with two incredibly successful styles.
"One was Josie, a low-heeled leather court shoe that became the first Diana Ferrari style to be exported to the USA, at times producing an incredible 3000 pairs daily.
"The other was Snap, a suede wedge sandal so popular that over half a million pairs were made in just two years.
"Demand was so great that Myer staff would queue outside the factory in their own cars just to pick up stock for the store!
"The Diana Ferrari Supersoft range was introduced in the mid-80s as an elevated comfort brand based on true C-fittings, and has become synonymous in Australia with ultra-comfortable shoes that can be worn all day every day without compromising on style," the business said.
In 2019 Diana Ferrari offers 200 new styles a season and is one of Australia's most-stocked footwear brands. Old favourites such as the Nature loafer – created in 1999 – are still in production, with the style selling over 600,000 pairs in its first year and millions since.
So what's coming up for the business?
"Keeping with our dedication to customer satisfaction, we are focusing on refining and developing our online and in-store presence to offer better and more personalised shopping experiences," the business said.
"[In] the upcoming range our customers can expect to see an exploration of tone and texture, with jute trims, laser cut accents and bold colours, plus all the Supersoft classics they know and love revitalised for the new season."