30th November 2020

My love for sustainable leather artist Maria Sole Ferragamo of SO-LE Studio!

An advocate for repurposing leather into breathtakingly beautiful jewellery, designer Maria Sole Ferragamo’s love of leather began at the age of nine, when her mother gifted her a sole red shoe box casing copper wire, tweezers and beads.

A simple lesson in the technique of bracelet making would inspire Maria Sole to one day found her own jewellery company. Combining architectural movement and leather artistry, Maria Sole views her jewellery as ‘architecture living on the body’. It is with great admiration that I present in my series of Leather Loves, the stunning, innovative craftsmanship of SO-LE Studio!


Heiress to the Florentine fashion family, Ferragamo, Maria Sole spent a summer in the family factory learning from the shoe craftsmen and at twelve years old, when interning in the material research department, she drew her first earring design. During the summer months she sold her creations at the seaside — and following a trip to a leather factory outside of Florence, the enormity of leftover leather pieces from its projects became an integral point to the founding of SO-LE Studio, and its core values in rescuing and transforming high quality leather leftovers into unique jewellery. 

Key to discovering her brand’s aesthetic identity beyond the lessons of Tuscan craftsmen is her Degree in Architecture from the Politecnico di Milano, Milan. She explains, “with architecture, it is the supporting structure, the discipline and technique behind the creativity. It is in the art of making something that connects with the human body, that can be held in the hands.” This is where Maria Sole truly connects. In doing so, she travelled to London in 2014 and completed a masters of Jewellery design with Central Saint Martins and two years on, opened a boutique pop up shop, retailing her collection in North West London. 

The way in which Maria Sole views her creations is exceptionally unique. Fascinated by optical art and its illusion of movement when static, she creates from a view point that is in contrast to appearance. As a metal piece forms the framework to support stones, it appears heavy, rigid and cold — in juxtapose, her leather designs seemingly share this visual parallel, but are in fact soft, light and warm. 

Returning the studio to Milan, close to the Tuscan, Florence hills of her production, Maria Sole’s mission in repurposing abandoned leather into intimate pieces that are worn on the skin and grow old with you, instinctively follows her movement of contributing only beauty to the world, rather than creating something new that the world does not need. This in part, is her sense of responsibility to our planet where longevity and personal engagement are key.

For more conversation on Maria Sole, her work, inspirations, and values of leather sustainability and design I invite you to view her amazing interview at so-le-studio.com and browse her digital shop where you can purchase her very special and unique leather jewellery, my absolute Leather Love!

Xx Mike