Maria Sole Ferragamo named guest curator of Sotheby’s The Luxury Edit

Italian jeweller Maria Sole Ferragamo has been named as the first guest curator of Sotheby’s auction series, The Luxury Edit. What's more, the exciting partnership continues with a limited-edition capsule collection of statement baubles by Ferragamo's sustainable jewellery label, SO-LE Studio

By Joshua Hendren

Maria Sole Ferragamo, the founder of SO-LE Studio, the Italian jewellery brand best known for its sustainable leather pieces crafted from upcycled scraps and metal shavings, has been announced as the first guest curator of Sotheby’s’ auction series, The Luxury Edit.

Across a series of live and online sales, Ferragamo, one of Salvatore Ferragamo’s granddaughters, will be hand picking a selection of pre-owned luxury pieces from the world of jewellery, watches, handbags, footwear, wine and spirits to be auctioned in London, New York and Paris this September.

The Foundation Ear Cuff in gold

“Finding beauty in life is one of my main drivers. I believe that the search for beauty makes us feel good and be good. I grew up in Florence, a city that taught me to observe and appreciate the beauty around me, to be curious about art and to admire craft and craftsmanship. At SO-LE Studio, my mission is to find beauty in abandoned resources, looking at them from a different perspective and with a creative mindset,” says Ferragamo.

“I feel honoured to have been chosen by Sotheby’s in this context, for the first time I’ll apply my creative eye and my values to being a curator instead of a creator. My mission will be to recognise, acknowledge and highlight the beauty of these pre-owned objects, rather than creating new ones with existing materials. I believe the next generation has a huge part to play in making more conscious choices to preserve our planet: this applies to the way they buy and surround themselves with objects. I hope this project can shed light on the important role we all have to play to create a beautiful life for future generations.”

The Vessel Earrings in fuchsia
The Fondation Ear Cuff in disco black

As part of this exciting partnership, Ferragamo’s jewellery label SO-LE Studio will also be creating a run of limited-edition jewels inspired by noteworthy architecture from each city in which Sotheby’s is hosting the Luxury Edit.

“When I started designing these pieces, I naturally turned to architecture as a source of inspiration. It wasn’t the general look and feel of a city that would guide the creative process. I decided to create one wearable sculpture design per city, inspired by an iconic landmark building. There are so many incredible architectural works in all three cities, so it was a hard choice, but in the end, I decided that the common thread that should link all of them should be that they were inaugurated after 2000 and that they had some prominent and very characteristic geometric patterns,” says Ferragamo, of her design process. “For NYC, I chose The Vessel by Heatherwick; for London, The Great Hall of the British Museum by Norman Foster; for Paris, the Louis Vuitton Foundation.”

The Vessel Earrings in green
The Great Cuff in crystal ice blue

Taking inspiration from London’s British Museum, The Great Cuff is a beautifully sculptural piece with curvaceous elements that reference the spectacular glass roof of the Great Hall. In a similar effect, The Vessel Earrings play with layering and colour to embrace the ear lobe in an eye-popping fashion. The final piece, the Fondation Ear Cuff, is a singular ear cuff inspired by the work of architect Frank Gehry that wraps elegantly around the ear pavilion.

The Vessel Earrings in green
The Great Cuff in crystal grey

“All of the pieces are made with upcycled leather I found in factories around Tuscany, they play with illusion and distortion, looking heavy and cold, yet revealing their warmth and light when worn,” Ferragamo explains. “Creating this collection allowed me to implement new techniques together with our craftsmen. Their construction was challenging, and it took many iterations to obtain the effortless balance of a clean and precise design.”

The Luxury Edit sale series starts with an exhibition at Sotheby’s in London, opening on 1st September. At the same time, SO-LE Studio’s jewellery collection will drop exclusively on their website, with each design limited to just 16 pieces in three lust-worthy colours.

Like this? Read our interview with Dominic Jones on his debut collection for The Royal Mint