Wanda Ferragamo, toughness, and Beards Of New York
Who's Wanda Ferragamo? An influential and international business woman, who has been the head of the global fashion giant Salvatore Ferragamo for decades and - together with her family - still owns the company.
Who’s Wanda Ferragamo to me? That's a completely different story.
Wanda Ferragamo to me is my first "grown up job" after university. I met her in the headquarters of Salvatore Ferragamo in Via Tornabuoni in Florence, after I successfully passed a series of interviews. She was the final step of the hiring process, since she had the final say about each of member of the team in her office - and in the company at large.
In the previous 7 years, from high school to university, I mostly had temporary jobs to help with student life. I used to model in Milan, work in a thousand bars, restaurants, photo studios, and theaters, in London and Northern Italy. A job at Salvatore Ferragamo headquarters sounded like a good opportunity and, with its pros and cons, it was. A great first step into “grown ups” professional life.
Working around Wanda Ferragamo allowed me to access priceless professional insight. Not just strategy and business insight, but also the deep understanding of that human element you need in order to make things happen.
Greg Salvatori's BEARDS OF NEW YORK was featured around the world, click HERE for more
I was never a guy who scares easy and, when I realized it was time to move on, I didn’t get scared to leave. In 2008 I moved to London, and later in Paris and New York. Each of these cities and experiences offered me both the inspiration and the potential to create my portrait series, including my latest one, BEARDS OF NEW YORK. It would never have happened if I stayed on.
In Florence, Wanda Ferragamo’s toughness inspired me. In New York, the toughness of hundreds of men challenging themselves in front of a pink background inspired me.
Toughness is inspiring and has no gender.
As I put it in the introduction in my new book, Beards Of New York:
“If you want to call yourself New York tough, you can’t be afraid of pink. Something as simple as a pink background is already enough to push the boundaries of masculinity for most men. Some of them loved it, some of them hated it, some walked away.
Those who didn’t run from the challenge are my heroes.”