Riccardo Ferragamo, tells us about himself and his Florence in this exclusive interview.
This corner of Tuscany is full of cypress alleys but a few are as grand as the one of Villa Le Rose, the mansion of Ferragamo’s family. Riccardo welcomes us standing in front of the entrance with a big smile on his face. Next to him Bethoven, the lovely Labrador of Ferragamo’s family, sits. After all the compliments we start to explore the villa and the garden with Riccardo, looking for the perfect spot for the shooting and for the video. Needless to say, there’s plenty of choice: it’s hard to convey the feeling of serenity and calm that this place gives, as if to stand there for more than 500 years had gave an ethereal peace to the house.
All around you see the marvelous Chianti hills that deafen you with the scream of their beauty. And in the distance, far away, the stunning Florence. After a long wandering, we finally find the perfect spot where to stop, sit and start the questions to Riccardo.
Riccardo, son of Leonardo Ferragamo, with his slight Florentine accent, talks with us about himself, his Florence, his present and his future projects. After studying in Miami, he decided to spend a year back home in Florence where he studies Business at the American University. And where he puts into practice what he learns helping his father in the family real estate business.
He doesn’t rule out returning abroad for a few years because: ‘to stay away, alone, far from the usual comfort, helps you growing up’. But he sees his future back in Italy: ‘because if you go abroad is to learn something to bring to the service of our country, that now, more than ever, needs help’.
Even though he’s very young, Riccardo has already many ideas very clear.
He’s wearing nice shoes from s/s 2015 Ferragamo collection that are inspired to some shoes drawing from the 50’s that his grandfather Salvatore did. Riccardo strongly believes that: ‘ to move forward, we need to look back, to understand right things to follow and wrong things to avoid’. He’s in love with Florence that describes in one word as ‘affectionate’ because ‘all that beauty warms hearts of who watch it’.
When do you think it’s the best period of the year to come to Florence?
The Spring for sure. In Autumn there’s high risk of rain. During the Winter it’s really cold, and in the Summer it’s incredibly hot. That’s in general for Italy though. If you want to come during some particular events that take place in the city, I would suggest the Pitti Immagine. It takes place twice in the year (January and June); during these weeks there’s plenty of events related to fashion and many interesting people from all over the world.
Or probably I would suggest end of June because of the Historic Soccer, a very typical occurrence in city: all the neighborhoods of the city organize teams to play a match of a game similar to rugby. They do it in Santa Croce square, completely dressed up as in the middle age. The final match is the day of Florence Patron Saint (24 June) when there are fireworks and a big fair.
What do you love and what do you hate of Florence?
First I love the geographic position. If you are in the very center, you go up the hill of Forte Belvedere and in less than 10 minutes you find yourself in the middle of the countryside. And not just a countryside, but the Chianti hills! I think this is unique in the world. Than, in less than an hour by car you get in good skiing station or on the marvelous beaches of the Tuscan coast. I also love bonds of friendship here: to become friend with a Florentine is very hard, but then is like to have a blood relationship.
What I dislike is the closed and provincial mentality. But after all Florence is a small city and that’s happens in all the small cities of the world.
How do you think Florence reflects the concept of Italian style and lifestyle?
I see Italianism as the ability to appreciate little everyday things and to put charm and romance even in them: like the fact to make elegant even cheap things through nice combinations or presentations. And this is valid for fashion, home design or table equipment. Italianism is also the handicraft of our craftsmen, the artistry of our artists and the smartness of our thinkers. And I think that Florence summarize well all these abilities, carrying forward the artistic and craft tradition of our country.
You are often abroad. What you feel when you come back to Florence?
First for me Florence means home and family, so when I come back I’m hugely happy for this reason. But in spite of this, when I see the beauty of this city I am surprised of what men were able to create. Than obviously…food like the one here… nowhere!!!
Why would you suggest somebody to come here?
A part from the fact that’s the most beautiful city in the world (smile ndr.), Florence encloses the Italianism we were talking about.
Riccardo Ferragamo ‘s Florence in one word?
Text by Federico Sigali
Pictures by Ilaria Lamotte