A pleasant chat with Maria Sole Ferragamo, heir to the great Florentine fashion family, one of Leonardo and Beatrice Ferragamo’s sons. Born in Florence in 1990, after graduating in architecture at the Politecnico Milano in 2013, she moved to London to follow her true passion, the jewel design. Here she finished the second and final year of a master’s degree in this discipline at the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, exploring the use of different types of leather, for the creation of jewelry for the luxury market.
Q: Dear Maria Sole, when you had the idea of producing jewelry: already by attending the Polytechnic in Milan or even before? What is your first memory linked to a jewel?
A: Since long before, my passion for creating jewelry was born as a child. More precisely for my 9 years birthday, my mother gave me a red box with inside a copper wire, beads and tweezers. With those materials, I created my first bracelet and since then I have never stopped. I took the beads to school and worked secretly under the desk. In high school, I could not wait for Saturday to arrive in order to spend all afternoon and night in my little workshop!
Q: Have you ever thought about taking care of your family’s main business, the footwear and women’s and men’s fashion collections?
A: For the moment I started from my inclination and main passion, the jewel. I realize that I am in the middle of an evolving path that will surely lead me to explore other forms and other types of products.
Q: In your opinion, what role does the jewel play in a look?
A: Although the jewel is considered an “accessory”, I think it has a primary role. It can also make the outfit simpler, much more personal. Jewelry is something that is often bought with the heart, not with the mind and I think that this role is precisely there to give a personal and emotional touch to what you wear.
Q: Some jewels of the SO-LE Studio collection recall typical forms of biology: DNA, for example, or sometimes anthropomorphic forms. Is it a desired aspect? Where does the inspiration come from?
A: What is definitely wanted in my work is trying to work leather, a living material, in shapes that recall movement and in objects that are light and pleasant to wear. I draw inspiration from different sources, I look a lot at the architecture and in particular the structural elements; I look at kinetic and optical art, precisely because of that illusion of movement in static and three-dimensional objects in two-dimensional elements. In fashion, however, I am fascinated by the costumes of the Elizabethan era for their royal component and because from these costumes and garments, women drew beauty and strength feeling protected. Finally, many of my ideas come from the tireless and constant research on materials and processing techniques.
Q: Speaking of ceremonies, which is in your opinion the jewel to wear for your wedding day? The MUST HAVE that every bride should have? And for the groom?
A: I do not think there is a must-have. I believe that the jewel worn on your wedding day should have an emotional value for the bride. It could also be a cotton bracelet, but if it is an important object for the wearer, then it will be the right one. As much as men’s jewelry is increasingly in vogue, I’m not a big fan. I believe that man should remain simple and classic, a pair of twins may be more than enough.
Q: If you were to celebrate a special event, such as a gala dinner, which jewel would you like to wear?
A: I do not like elaborate dresses. I prefer simple and linear ones, often monochrome. In this way the dress becomes for me a bit like the canvas of a painter that I can decorate with the jewel. So for a gala dinner I would decorate it with something as important as our “Bella” piece, which is a large necklace that covers the shoulders.
Q: One last word, a sentence with which you would like to close the interview?
A: “Inspiration exists, but it must find you at work.” This quote by Pablo Picasso is particularly important to me because it summarizes the way I approach my work, with constancy, perseverance and devotion.