Tuscany Wine Estate
Salvatore Ferragamo has been an Italian luxury legend ever since its footwear was adopted by Hollywood sirens in the 1920s. Recently, Ferruccio Ferragamo, son of the eponymous founder and currently president of the company, and his own son Salvatore, have ventured into the world of fine wine and hospitality (following in the footsteps of Ferruccio’s younger brother Massimo, who owns the Castiglion del Bosco wine estate and luxury hotel). As part of our Luxury Leaders series, Salvatore Ferragamo speaks to LUX about restoring the medieval Tuscan village of Il Borro, ponders luxury’s demand for authenticity, and reveals his favourite Italian dish.
Ferragamo family restore medieval village Il Borro

Salvatore with his father Ferruccio Ferragamo

LUX: What kind of experience does Il Borro offer guests and what makes it unique compared to other luxury estates?
Salvatore Ferragamo: Il Borro is truly unique because at the heart of the estate lies a medieval hamlet, dating back 1000 years which has been transformed into luxurious suites and villas through careful and respectful restoration. Authenticity is the cornerstone of all past and present activities at Il Borro. This place is one of a kind because of its tradition, at Il Borro, history, art, Tuscan culture and nature offer exclusive experiences and atmosphere that are impossible to find anywhere else.

I refer, for instance, to our Wine & Art Gallery, an artistic description of the history of wine through my father’s collection of prints and artworks from the 15th century to the present day which include works by Mantegna, Goya, Rembrandt, as well as modern artists like Warhol and Picasso. The gallery introduces guests to our cellars, which have been enlarged to enable a higher production of wine, yet still represent a respectful extension of the area beneath the 19th century villa.

At Il Borro we take care of our soil with an old-standing organic method and all our products are both pesticide and preservative free. We harvest the grapes, go horse-riding on the estate, pick olives and cultivate vegetables in a spectacular one-hectare garden. Il Borro is a lively place, where we work the land to reap the fruits that our customers can taste in the Tuscan recipes prepared by our chef, Andrea Campani.

And of course there is a relaxation area, with eco-friendly pools and a spa free of machines, where guests can enjoy a range of treatments carried out by our professional team.

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”9″ gal_title=”ferragamo”]

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LUX: What inspired the project of Il Borro Ferragamo wine estate?
Salvatore Ferragamo: It was the history of this place – all we had to do was bring the traditions of this land back to life. Our vineyards are spread over about 50 hectares and we make 4 red wines in total; Il Borro, Polissena, Pian Di Nova and Alessandro dal Borro, our white wine Lamelle is 100% Chardonnay. We also make an exquisite Vin Santo and the jewel in the crown of our wine cellar, Bolle di Borro, a sparkling Sangiovese Rosé made in the classic method.

LUX: How do you compete against more established names and estates in the world of winemaking?
Salvatore Ferragamo: We do this through authenticity and excellence. We could produce three times as much wine, but instead we prefer to offer a product of the highest quality. We don’t exploit our land, we take care of it. Our wines are the result of oenological research, aimed at making premium wines through challenging combinations and effectively looking after the grapes of our territory. On top of all this, we have a unique place: the medieval hamlet where our guests can enjoy an unforgettable experience in an authentic atmosphere, with all the comforts.

Ancient wine cellars of Il Borro

Salvatore Ferragmo pictured in the Il Borro wine cellars

LUX: How has the rise of digital marketing and social media affected the way you approach business?
Salvatore Ferragamo: Digital marketing and social media are the tools of today and they represent a great opportunity for us. Every day we strive to make improvements, using creativity and lots of energy. They offer us the opportunity to communicate in real time and with emotional impact all of Il Borro’s values: hospitality, winemaking, food, health, nature, history, and traditions.

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LUX: Have you always been passionate about wine?
Salvatore Ferragamo: I can’t think of a time when there wasn’t a bottle of wine on my family’s table. Wine is part of Tuscan culinary traditions and being a food lover I cannot imagine dinner, and sometimes even lunch, without a bottle of good wine. Taking care of Il Borro’s winery just came naturally. The best moment of my day is when I start work with a walk through the vineyards.

LUX: Wine and hospitality are relatively new territories for the Ferragamo family. What are some of the challenges you’ve had to face along the way?
Salvatore Ferragamo: Yes, that’s true. But some elements are not new to my family: the Made in Italy mission, craftsmanship, and the Tuscan lifestyle. Il Borro encapsulates all of these elements. The real challenge at Il Borro is respecting the estate, the land and its gifts, through innovations on which we invest considerably, to preserve the authenticity and, at the same time, offer high quality hospitality.

Andrea Campani heads the kitchens at Il Borro

Chef Andrea Campani is renowned for his grilled dishes prepared in a large artisanal oven

LUX: Is your name a passport or a burden?
Salvatore Ferragamo: My name is an honour…except when somebody thinks that I’m “the shoemaker of dreams”, that was my grandfather!

Having said that, I am fortunate to have examples of very successful entrepreneurs within my family, and I can honestly say that it’s a great source of energy and a positive challenge.

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LUX: The Relais & Châteaux group, of which Il Borro is a member, is renowned for the best culinary hotels across the globe. What do you think makes food exceptional and what’s your favourite Italian dish?
Salvatore Ferragamo: This is a difficult question, since food, like wine, is a sort of magic. The creativity of a wine-maker or a chef together with high quality ingredients that, in the end, make the difference.

My favourite Italian dish… another difficult question. Probably Tagliatelle with Wild Boar Ragù in winter and Risotto with Tomatoes and Burrata Cheese in summer followed by a barbecue of our Chianina beef.

LUX: How do the other aspects of the Ferragamo family business influence the running of the Estate? Do you see it as a collaborative project?
Salvatore Ferragamo: We prefer to keep the two family businesses separate, however, I would say it is the strong core of business and entrepreneurship which has been inherited from Salvatore Ferragamo (my grandfather) to my father and my father to me, and of course the Ferragamo name, which links the two together.

LUX: Does Tuscany hold any particular relevance for the Ferragamo family?
Salvatore Ferragamo: Tuscany is my land even though my grandfather was from Naples and my mother is English. This is where I grew up, where my family established the brand, and also where a large part of the new Ferragamo generation lives. Tuscany represents Ferragamo’s creative inspiration at all levels, and we are very proud to be recognised as one of the leading Tuscan/Italian brands in the world.

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LUX: How has the world of luxury hospitality evolved in recent years?
Salvatore Ferragamo: I think there is a growing demand for authenticity. Travellers seem to be less interested in serial/signature hotel concepts, and the magnificent but cold buildings without history, without a soul. Travellers want to live and feel the experience alongside luxury and this offers a truly unique opportunity.

Outdoor activities at Il Borro Tuscan estate

Activities at Il Borro include horse riding, cooking classes, trekking, golf, tennis and mountain biking

LUX: What’s next for Il Borro?
Salvatore Ferragamo: We have so many exciting projects in the pipeline, most notably: the launch of a 100% organic wine; the opening of Il Borro Tuscan Bistro in Dubai, the first restaurant in our franchising project, with the aim of eventually taking Il Borro’s Tuscan cuisine and wines around the world; the implementation of the biological production of our honey; and we also plan to provide Il Borro with an olive oil mill to produce our own biological extra virgin oil.

LUX: How do you manage to balance work and pleasure?
Salvatore Ferragamo: I believe I’m lucky, because I love my job. I could never have spent my days behind a desk. Since I love going horse-riding and playing golf, everything is within reach here at Il Borro and I can easily make the most of the little free time I have, doing what I love!


Reading time: 7 min
Joe Macari is one of the most renowned names in the classic car business, his showroom in London a wonderland of racing cars, supercars and hypercars of all eras, plus the occasional dalek. A racing driver and car nut himself who spends much of his time crisscrossing the world to secure multimillion dollar deals on automotive rarities, Macari has high net worth customers all over the globe and cuts a flamboyant figure commuting to work in his $3m 1960s Ferrari Daytona Spider, cigarette firmly planted in mouth. Macari also has an official Ferrari and Maserati servicing workshop, and was recently appointed an Approved Ferrari pre-owned dealer. For our Luxury Leaders series he speaks to Darius Sanai about his maverick reputation, Brexit, and the hottest cars to buy now.
Joe Macari Ferrari dealer showroom

The Joe Macari Showroom. Image by Dylan Morris

LUX: How is the classic car sales business? Are modern classics important, or just incidental?
Joe Macari: I would argue that the classic car business is as strong as it has ever been! classic cars are now, more than ever, seen as a very strong alternative asset class, with a series of incredibly strong auction results proving that people are willing to pay good money for good cars.

LUX: Is the younger generation as passionate about the mechanics of cars as the older, and is that a problem?
Joe Macari: I think that there will always be a huge proportion of young people who take a keen interest in mechanics, it’s a timeless interest that evolves with the leaps and bounds technology takes over the course of time. I don’t think we’re in any danger of experiencing a shortage of petrol-head technicians any time soon.

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LUX: Are people more or less into racing than they were when you started out?
Joe Macari: I think racing has become more popular and accessible. F1 has obviously changed massively over the last few years, and my perception is that the changes have led to a migration of sorts. People seem to be more and more interested in events like Goodwood Revival and other classic car racing events in order for them to get their fix of unadulterated, noisy, raw racing.

LUX: How has the typical buyer changed over the decades?
Joe Macari: Certain areas of the world have changed tastes over the years. For example, the Middle East is really waking up to how investable the classic car market is. Obviously there have always been a number of collectors from the Middle East who have sought after classic cars, but there seems to be a broadening in the consumer demographic. Ultimately though, the buyers haven’t changed a great deal. Every single person who buys anything from me shares a burning passion, one I quite obviously hold very dearly, and have used their passion to drive themselves to a level of success whereby they are in a position to buy into their dream. Very few industries share that trait.

LUX: What is hot in the market right now?
Joe Macari: Ferrari are the pinnacle of the classic car market, almost every variant of the 250 sits at over £1m. The Testarossa (particularly the Monospecchio) and the 206/246 Dino are two cars that are picking up value very quickly. Anything limited Edition from Ferrari tends be a safe investment; the 288 GTO, F40, F50, Enzo, Challenge Stradale, 430 Scuderia, 599 GTO, LaFerrari and F12 TDF’s have all picked up value hugely from their list price and seem to be continuing to rise in value.

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LUX: Is the classic car market overheated?
Joe Macari: Not in my opinion, were that to be the case we’d be seeing average cars sell for huge money and a quick browse of recent Auction Results will show you that people hold provenance and condition of the cars in high regard. If a car has very obvious flaws, it won’t make money. If a car has questionable history, it won’t sell.
If we ever reach a point where very obviously terrible cars are being sold for far more than they’re worth, then there would be cause for concern, but until then I firmly believe the market to be the healthiest it’s ever been.


Left to right: Joe Macari & Tom Kristensen after their win at Goodwood Revival. Image by Andrew Gill

LUX: Some 1950s and 60s Ferraris sell for multimillions. Will the newer ones ever do so (even the limited editions)?
Joe Macari: Undoubtedly so, it all boils down to the relationship between supply and demand. The supply of past-generation Ferraris remains fixed, however as the younger generation reaches financial maturity the demand for these cars increases, resulting in rising price. We saw a LaFerrari  sell for $4.7m at Pebble Beach in August, who knows where they’ll be in 10 years time!

LUX: Do people really buy the cars they hankered after when they were kids – does that mean the 50s and 60s cars will drop in price as their owners get old/pass away?
Joe Macari: Not at all! The value these cars have accrued has given them serious kudos amongst the younger generation, I can’t conceive of a time when a 250 GTO or California Spyder are seen as “just another old Ferrari”, they are primarily works of art, and much like art they will continue to cause a reaction and be desired by many.

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LUX: What gives you the greatest pleasure in your business?
Joe Macari: Witnessing the transformation a car goes through during restoration. We take a car in average condition at best and pour our blood, sweat and tears into making it as beautiful as it was the day it rolled off the production line. I can think of few feelings as totally satisfying as seeing a customer’s face when they see their “new” car for the first time.

LUX: What makes you most frustrated?
Joe Macari: Potential not being utilized to its fullest extent. When someone isn’t doing as good a job as I know they’re capable of doing I get very frustrated. I don’t tolerate carelessness because in my mind the only reason one gets involved in the motor industry is because they have a passion for it, if you aren’t working at your best then you’re clearly not passionate about it.

Porsche Carrera RS pictured in Joe Macari showroom

A Porsche Carrera RS. Image by Dylan Morris

LUX: Do you purchase many cars and hold them back before selling? What car would you like to purchase for your business, that you haven’t done already?
Joe Macari: The only reason that would happen is if we’re planning on restoring a vehicle, we have storage with a number of cars in varying stages of restoration but very rarely, if ever, would we buy a car simply to hold it off market and then sell it at a later date as space is a very valuable commodity.

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LUX: What is the effect of Brexit on your business?
Joe Macari: I think we’ve been relatively fortunate, obviously we specialise in LHD (left hand drive) cars which means that due to the swaying currency our cars became cheaper for Europeans quite literally overnight. A large proportion of our clientele tends to be relatively immune to financial shocks, so the demand for high performance cars is still very much alive.

Ferrari Daytona Sypders pictured in the Joe Macari showroom

Four Ferrari Daytona Spyders. Image by Dylan Morris

LUX: Some years back you became an official Ferrari service centre, and now you are an official Ferrari approved used car dealer – is this significant and what does it mean?
Joe Macari: Above all else it bestows a huge sense of confidence onto our clients that we are supplying the absolute best product that we possibly can be. The fact that before we sell a car we’re able to perform Ferrari Approved Servicing and Sales Prep, as well as provide the customer with ongoing maintenance support, puts us in a position that very few other people find themselves in, and ultimately makes our business unique amongst a host of other very competitive businesses.

LUX: People refer to you as a maverick. What does that mean?
Joe Macari: I suppose people see the showroom and the service centre & imagine they’re run by someone in a suit; I think seeing me with greasy fingers and a cigarette in my hand comes across as a bit of a juxtaposition when in actual fact I like to lead from the front. I gain more pleasure from putting a car back together than pretty much anything else on earth, why would I turn my back on my roots?

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LUX: You have good personal relationships with your big customers. Is that important?
Joe Macari: Relationships are without question the most important aspect of any business, anywhere. The friendships I have forged over my years in the industry are far more important than any deal I’ve ever done, the fact that people trust me enough to return to me for business is something I don’t take lightly, it spurs me on to maintain the standards I have become known for.

LUX: How do you secure the cars you want, when everyone wants them?
Joe Macari: By building relationships and gaining trust. Everyone knows that if they need a car, I can find it for them. They know that the car will undergo the highest possible level of scrutiny and ultimately I have cultivated an environment around me and my business whereby people selling through me know that they’re getting the best deal they possibly can. Everything lies in relationships and trust!


Reading time: 8 min
Frieze Art Fair in Regents Park, London
The Frieze art fairs in London and New York are the reference points for the brave new world of contemporary art: at once ground-breaking and commercial, edgy and established, and a badge of honour for the galleries selected to sell there. Frieze co-founder Matthew Slotover talks to LUX Editor-in-Chief Darius Sanai about digital art, the future of culture, and new developments.
Co-founder of Frieze art fair, Matthew Slotover

Matthew Slotover

Matthew Slotover is the co-founder of Frieze art fair in London and New York, and is fast becoming one of the art world’s éminences grises. Although that’s probably a misnomer for this boyish-looking 48-year-old who looks as insouciant as he did the day he and Amanda Sharp founded Frieze magazine in 1991, soon after they had left Oxford University.

Their art fair – the slightly less brash, slightly more cerebral, but just as influential, alternative to Art Basel – is still the most desirable place for the world’s biggest gallerists, collectors, and their armies of hangers-on, to display and purchase.

Slotover and Sharp have resisted the impulse to roll out their brand around the world. Founded in 2003 in a tent in London, Frieze only opened in its second venue, in New York, in 2012. This year, a quarter of a century after the specialist art magazine that spawned the fairs was founded, they took on some outside investment, for the first time, from the sports and entertainment agency WME-IMG – behind Slotover’s innocent facade and genuine love of the new in art is as tough a businessman as any.

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“People have been talking about digital art for 20 years, and your perspective on the subject partly depends on how you define it. Is it art that exists in a purely digital form? If so, what does that mean? Or does it mean art that exists only on the web, or as a video file or an audio file?

Art that only exists on the web is not, I think, the way you define digital art. We have not had very many brilliant examples of artists using a purely virtual presence in that way.

Frieze Art Fair in Regents Park, London

‘Annals of Private History’ by the Spanish installation artist Amalia Ulman at the Live section of Frieze London, 2015

In the past couple of years there has been a conversation about what some people call post-internet art. This usually has a physical component to it. It can be a video animation, but it can also be a sculpture or a flat artwork that refers to the internet and to modern communication, using images collected from the internet, such as logos, graphics and text from Instagram and other social media. It uses the language of technology and new communication to make art.

The art world wants objects [not purely virtual art], and artists want to create objects. I didn’t like Richard Prince’s Instagram paintings  when I first saw them, and now I think they’re brilliant: the work is about taking images that exist already and contextualising them. Richard loves photographic imagery; he used to be a photo editor before he was an artist. So he goes on Instagram, finds images that he likes, and makes a gnomic comment underneath them. He then does a screen grab and then a big print out with the image, with all the comments below. He is both inserting himself virtually into the Instagram world as an artist, and also making a physical object out of it. This leaves him open to criticism by the original image makers. When he did a stand comprising these pictures at Frieze New York last year, we had Facebook and Instagram comments saying we steal people’s copyright.

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Prince’s response was that recycling images is what he has always done. One of the girls whose image he took did a grab of his picture, which was on sale for $90,000, and started selling prints of it for $100. He thought recycling his work and questioning the value was great.

I find it hard to distinguish between painting, photography, sculpture, digital art and installation. People say to me at Frieze, “There was a lot of photography this year”. I reply that I didn’t see it as photography. A lot of artists move between media. And if digital art has to be shown on a monitor in a gallery, is it physical or not?

Frieze Art Fair in Regents Park, London

‘Collection of Suppressed Voices’ by the Czech artist Eva Kot’átková at the Live section of Frieze London, 2015

What everyone looks for in art is something new that relates to its time, that isn’t just an updated version of what was done before. Most great artists historically follow this pattern: their work could only have been made in their time, they were pushing boundaries.

As to the companies that sell digital images to be displayed on mobile devices, it turns out that what people want on their phone is not beautiful images created by an artist or designer: it’s the age of the selfie, and they want to take the picture and they want it to be of themselves. If you look at Instagram, what are people doing and sharing? It’s very egocentric, and a bit disturbing. I’m not sure art sold for digital devices is really ever going to take off.”

“According to TEFAF’s market report this year, the amount of art being sold online is estimated to have gone up from 6% to 7%. Still a small amount, but going in the right direction. Clearly, we are getting more comfortable spending larger amounts of money online. But there are caveats. A couple of months ago I saw a picture that was for sale in an online auction. It looked great. But when I spoke to the artist’s dealer, he told me he had done a physical inspection, and the condition was terrible – something you would never have known if just looking online.

So there are some significant hurdles, which is why the online art market hasn’t exploded in the same way that music or film or clothing has. Many galleries have joined online sales platforms or invested in their own websites, but they are not seeing the returns they expected. They tend to get a lot of inquiries with a very low conversion rate into sales.”


Frieze London has been held in a temporary space in Regent’s Park since 2003; it was more recently joined by Frieze Masters, focussing on non-contemporary art, held across the park

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“We are not going to rush into rolling out several new fairs. Our clients – the galleries – are the content. If you don’t have the right galleries, you don’t have a fair. But if the right opportunity arises, we will take it.

We set up the magazine in 1991 and Frieze London in 2003, and then in 2012 we launched our two new fairs, Frieze New York and Frieze Masters in London – so our timing has been roughly a new venture every 10 years!

We now have another new development, Frieze Academy , which has a series of talks, lectures and courses, such as how to write about art, and how to start an independent magazine. This September we are launching a course on art collecting, which will feature several fantastic art consultants, and could grow from London to other cities. And in October we are doing our first conference, for private individuals and museum professionals commissioning architecture for art spaces – homes, private museums and public museums.”

Frieze Academy opened this year; frieze.com

Reading time: 6 min