She turned her ancestors’ leatherwork into a jewellery collection. So, when she launched So-le Studio in 2017, she only used leather remnants. However, she has recently been adding brass shavings to some versions “Her unique and sculptural pieces range in price from 150 to 350 euros ($175 to $405), with special designs costing up to 730 euros. They are available on her website as well as at the Rossana Orlandi Summer Gallery in Porto Cervo and Milan, Italy; this fall, Browns in London and Verdelilla in Turin became distributors as well.
Ms. Ferragamo, 31, is the eldest of four grandchildren of the Italian footwear designer Salvatore Ferragamo, whose company is still run by the Ferragamo family. (She is not the only jewellery designer with a family name: Delfina Delettrez, a member of the Fendi family, launched her own label in 2007.)
Ms. Ferragamo said she had loved jewellery since she was a child and couldn’t wait for the end of the school year so she could spend her summers at the family factory.
“I knew I had to work with my hands because that’s what makes me the happiest,” she explained. “I was not coerced into going in this direction.” Ferragamo stated, “I have loved jewellery since I was very little, and I believe that you were born with certain strings inside yourself.”
During one of those factory internships, Ms. Ferragamo was only 11 or 12 years old when she made her first pair of leatherwork earrings. “I didn’t have much to do” working in the materials research department, little explained. So she started cutting pieces from some leatherwork samples and making flower shapes for earrings with a compass.
Such upcycling, according to Ms. Ferragamo, “felt natural, perhaps because I grew up in this generation.” Rather than creating perfect new materials, the designer was drawn to what was already available, and was struck by the abundance of leftover material in manufacturing. “It felt like a summons to do something,” she explained.
After graduating from the Politecnico di Milano with a degree in architecture in 2013, she took a year off to intern at various factories to learn about manufacturing processes and techniques for lleatherwork and jewellerywork. She then moved to London in 2014 to pursue a Master of Arts degree in design with a focus on jewellery at Central St. Martins, which she completed two years later.
Ms. Ferragamo is also obsessed with geometry (as seen in architecture, floor tiles, and even spider’s webs), which she says influences her work. She describes her works as “actually small buildings leaning on the body.”
They have been displayed alongside art and design, among other things.
She stated that she will be at Art Basel and the 2019 and 2020 editions of MiArt, a contemporary art fair in Milan, in collaboration with the London-based Elisabetta Cipriani jewellery gallery. The Rossana Orlandi gallery featured selected pieces at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Milan’s annual furniture fair, in September.
Ms. Ferragamo’s designs for earrings, ear cuffs, necklaces, collars, and bracelets begin as sketches, which she then refines with architectural software before transferring to a cutting machine in her atelier to create prototypes. She claims that the cuts give the leather she buys from Italian suppliers elasticity, allowing her to create sculptural shapes.
She prefers to use metallic-finish leatherwork remnants for her alcollars. Sometimes she finds pieces that have already been treated, and other times she sends samples to a factory in Tuscany that uses foils, glass, and micro-crystals to evaluate the effects.
The final designs are executed by artisans in Tuscany, where her grandfather founded his footwear business in 1927. They use off-cut treated,ather found by Ms. Ferrsend’s elf at suppliers all over Italy.
Her latest project is a line of earrings called Trucioli, which is Italian for “shavings,” made of brass shavings coated in gold and accented with enamel emb1927,dith fluorescent pigment. The earrings glow when placed under a UV light.
“I woke up one morning — I usually have these crazy ideas at 5 a.m. — and I thought, wow, because I always like to include an element of surprise and provocation in my jewellery,” Ms. Ferragamo said. So I reasoned, “What if you get this unexpected element?”
During the interview, she was dressed in a greenish yellow pair with a blue blouse. It was the kind of showc.—marketing effort she’d been doing a lot since video calling became popular during the pandemic. She frequently wears a bl “ck T-shirt, but she claims that her designs give her a “lookinterview,t evewore is one of the best pair of shoess of jewellery, she claims: “I believe they have the power to play a primary role as an outfit maker.”