The Italian Secret
Salvatore Ferragamo Signorina Eleganza adds an elegant note to the Signorina saga. Li Ying Lim heads to Seoul to experience the full repertoire in all its sensual splendour.
Two years ago, Italian-born model Bianca Balti waltzed into a suite and flung open a closet full of Salvatore Ferragamo Vara shoes. Soon to be swept off her feet, she playfully contemplated the right pair to wear for her date with youthful zest, in anticipation of the thrilling romance to come. Fashionably outfitted in a creamy pink dress, she finally stepped out to greet her handsome lover, after spritzing on a finishing touch of none other than Salvatore Ferragamo Signorina.
The choice of an Italian face, handpicked by Ferragamo’s fashion creative director Massimiliano Giornetti, and a beautiful story that also included the iconic Vara bow is no mere coincidence. “We wanted to reposition Ferragamo Parfums with Signorina, and to do that we went back to the very roots of the fashion label,” explains Luciano Bertinelli, the CEO of Ferragamo Parfums.
Bertinelli is not short of success stories. Heading up a team of “five people, in a room, like this, starting from scratch”, he has overseen some of the most wanted and notoriously successful scent launches for Ferragamo ever since the ’90s. Now, more than 10 years down the road, Bertinelli aims “to reinterpret in a modern and younger way one of the iconic symbols of Ferragamo, the Vara bow.”
The perfect choice to adorn the Signorina flacon, the Vara bow was first introduced in grosgrain with a golden buckle in 1978. It has since become the fashion house’s signature, a timeless classic that exudes quiet elegance and grace – the very characteristics for which the maison stands. Signorina, a sparkling floral-oriental juice created by renowned nose Sophie Labbé, was a conscious return to the roots of Salvatore Ferragamo. After years of Ferragamo Parfums running on a parallel line that only ever crosses lightly with the current direction of the Florentine brand, Signorina raised industry standards and struck a new partnership between the two houses of fashion and beauty. “The success we reached with Signorina showed us that we had made the right decision. We intend to work in the same vein as Ferragamo the fashion house. This is the future,” Bertinelli shares, as he sits in the Library Lounge of The Shilla Seoul hotel during the Asia-wide launch of the new scent Signorina Eleganza.
If Signorina was a young romantic, then 2014’s Signorina Eleganza is a graduation from that fresh innocence to the complete confidence only possessed by a woman in full bloom. The second-generation Signorina is flirtatious and feminine, and most evidently, firmly in control of her life
“Sensual but not sexy. Elegant but not a fashion victim. All this goes with the Italian style, and that makes the difference.” – Luciano Bertinelli
and never one to play the guessing game. “She’s self-confident but not aggressive, a lady who is self-sufficient, always sophisticated. She is not a princess, not unreachable,” enthuses Bertinelli with real Italian intensity. “Sensual but not sexy. Elegant but not a fashion victim. All this goes with the Italian style, and that makes the difference.”
Who better to embody such priceless qualities than the gorgeous supermodel Anja Rubik? With a sensuous gaze that seduces without uttering a single word, and a spritz of Signorina Eleganza on her neck, Rubik positively scintillates. She dances around her manor in a Grecian dress of powdery peach, pausing now and again to pose coquettishly for the lens of Naples-born photographer Mario Sorrenti. “I believe in elegance as glowing inner grace,” she whispers huskily. “An essence of undiluted freedom.”
Her warm colours are reminiscent of the new flacon design. Its silhouette may echo that of the original Signorina but it comes with an elegant gold base engraved with the famous Ferragamo logo in relief. The clear bottle shimmers in sophisticated cream pink, and is sealed with a grosgrain Vara bow in two gradients of classic beige. “The gold is refined and precious. Ferragamo style is always sophisticated,” describes Bertinelli. “It is so important for us to present that made-in-Italy heritage so everything is literally made in Italy, from the cap down to the minutest detailing. Italian style just shines right through Signorina Eleganza.”
Labbé returns to work on the second edition of her original fragrance, and she achieves an honest reflection of Eleganza with primarily floriental chypre notes. A refreshing head of grapefruit and pear bursts forth at first whiff, but it is really the rich heart of almond powder and golden osmanthus petals that gives Eleganza its distinct grace and refinement. At the base, patchouli and white leather exude a heady aura of lusciousness that settles well, warm as a kiss on bare skin.
“This is a new chapter, but I believe this will be the very last word in the story of our Signorina,” says Bertinelli of Eleganza. Yet quintessential Italian style lives on. In fact, according to Bertinelli himself, “It is a way of living for Ferragamo. It’s not only fashion; it’s art, and culture, and food. It’s also a lot about our cities, living both in the future and in the past. Our way to be.” Salvatore Ferragamo Signorina Eleganza EDP is priced at RM335 (50ml) & RM445 (100ml), and is available in major departmental stores nationwide.
Mario Sorrenti photographed model Anja Rubik for the Signorina Eleganza campaign in a classic Italian mansion
Behind the scenes at the Signorina Eleganza shoot
Salvatore Ferragamo Signorina Eleganza EDP
Rubik poses for the camera
Luciano Bertinelli, Li Ying Lim, and James Ferragamo at the launch of Signorina Eleganza