Massimo Ferragamo honored as grand marshal in 2019 Columbus Day Parade in NYC

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Massimo Ferragamo takes great pride in the story of his father and the brand he started -- and now he will be honored to acknowledge the contributions of Italians and Italian-Americans to the world of fashion.

Shoes were Salvatore Ferragamo's passion. He made his first pair when he was just 8.

At 16 he left Italy for America, and barely a decade later --in 1923-- he opened his first shop on Hollywood Boulevard and catered to the stars of the silver screen.

"These are special shoes because these were created by my father for Judy Garland in 1927 and here below was done for Marilyn Monroe," Ferragamo said as he pointed out shoes in his store.

Ferragamo is now a global fashion brand with hundreds of stores around the world, but it is still very much steeped in tradition.

RELATED: 2019 Columbus Day Parade: Watch it live on ABC7NY

"It is very Italian, 100 percent of our products are all made in Italy, there's nothing that we don't do outside of Italy, so we care a lot for our country -- but we also care a lot for our heritage because my father started in America," Ferragamo said.

That is where Massimo set down roots. After law school, he entered an executive training program at Saks Fifth Avenue and that prompted him to enter the family business.

And this year, the Columbus Citizens Foundation is honoring Massimo as the Grand Marshal of the Columbus Day Parade -- which will just so happen to pass right by one of Ferragamo's stores on 5th Avenue.

"It celebrates Italian heritage, Italian-American relationships and I am very proud to be to be part of this," Ferragamo said. "My father, when he started, never would he thought we'd have a store of this size on Fifth Avenue, let alone that their son could marshal the parade as Grand Marshal so I think from up there, he should be proud."

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