5 Minutes With... Maria Sole Ferragamo

Words by
Andy Morris

4th May 2022

To mark her new collection of jewellery created from upcycled leather accessories, the founder of SO-LE STUDIO talks us through imperfections, Milan restaurants and her favourite London open mic night.

Maria Sole Ferragamo founder of So-Le Studio

Which piece in your new collection are you most proud of?
The Sei earrings. They seem effortless and simple at first sight, but there’s a long iterative process behind them, that stopped only when I felt that specific energy, that comes out when all the elements are in harmony.

Which piece was the most difficult to produce and why?
The Loie Earrings. They are made from one single piece of leather, cut with a very neat pattern, shaped thanks to a hidden structure and stitched by hand. Our craftsman Marco told me they should be called “Infinito”!

What particularly excites you about working with offcuts and reclaimed materials?
The challenges that I am faced with each time. These can be given by the imperfections in the material, the fact that there are new techniques to be invented to work with it, the dimension of the offcut... all these aspects turn into creative opportunities to me. It’s very stimulating to work with such materials if you look at them from a different perspective. 

What do people get wrong about sustainability in fashion?
Sustainability is now one of those words that has been used and abused, acquiring perhaps different meanings in different contexts. I feel that is crucial each time we use it to specify what we are referring to, which is the significance of this big word in that specific context. 

What was your favourite thing to do in London when you studied at St Martins?
I used to love going to the open mic Jam Session at Troy Bar on Tuesdays. Sometimes I would jump on stage and sing - yes, it’s my other great passion!

What is now your favourite Milan restaurant and what do you order?
La Terrazza on top of the Triennale Museum, especially in this season where days are longer, the view and the light is amazing from there. I order a very classic cotoletta alla milanese, which is delicious there.

Which artist should we check out and why?
You should check out Ettore Spalletti exhibition at Lia Rumma’s gallery in Milan. The dialogue between his art work and the gallery is extremely poetic and you see works that he created for that specific space. 

What is your favourite hotel?
The Benesse House Museum in Naoshima. I was very lucky to spend one night there during my trip to Japan. Sleeping inside a museum, in Japan (which is my favorite country), on such a special Island was just one of a kind experience and I can still remember vividly the strong emotions I felt there. 

What holiday destination would you recommend and why?
Panarea Island, in the Eolie, Sicily. I’ve spent there many Summers. It’s just a magical place. There are no cars, you can walk bare foot around the island. You can spend all summer just wearing a bathing suit and a sirong. To me it’s the real vacation. 

What bottle never leaves your cocktail cabinet?
A good bottle of Tuscan red wine!

What does luxury mean to you?
It’s easier to say what luxury doesn’t mean to me. It’s not related to obsolescence, to abundance, to showing off. I don’t identify luxury with preciousness, or high price, but more meaningfully with a sense of quality, of care in the making and the people that invest their time in creating that luxury object. To me luxury is strongly bonded to the value of respect, 360 degrees. 

The leather collection is available exclusively on so-le-studio.com. Prices start from 230 Euros (£193.53).