MILAN — Fulvia Visconti Ferragamo died suddenly on Wednesday, aged 67. The exact nature of her illness was not disclosed, but it is understood it was a fast-moving form of cancer.
The daughter of the late Salvatore Ferragamo, founder of the namesake luxury company, she was creative director of men’s and women’s silk accessories, including foulards and ties — one of the storied core businesses of the house.
She is survived by her husband Giuseppe Visconti and their children Ginevra, Consolata, Angelica and Emanuele, as well as by her mother Wanda and her siblings Giovanna; Ferruccio, the chairman of the company; Leonardo, and Massimo. Their eldest sister Fiamma died in 1998.
A private ceremony is to be held today in Milan, where Visconti Ferragamo lived, although she often traveled to Florence, where the company is based.
A member of the board, Visconti Ferragamo had a very active role in the company and attended all the main events that have marked its history, ranging from its initial public offering in 2011 to the ceremony announcing a donation to renovate eight rooms at the Uffizi Gallery in 2014, for example, as well as product launches and all the brand’s runway shows — although she did miss the fall show in February.
While discreet, Visconti Ferragamo was easily approachable, and with a warm smile she would passionately discuss topics ranging from fashion to her love of horses and sailing. She enjoyed the outdoors and had recently bought with her husband a property in Tuscany’s Maremma Park called La Trappola where she kept horses.
“She was surely in love with the company and the brand, and even more so with the people, the employees that make up the company, building relations with them,” said Michele Norsa, who helmed Salvatore Ferragamo for 10 years before his exit in 2016. “She was very determined at work, but in her personal life she was generous and sensitive, even more than she let on.”
“I really adored her. She was a great woman in both her personal and professional life,” said Donatella Ratti, president of Como-based silk specialist Ratti SpA.
“We worked with her a lot and I really think she managed to give Salvatore Ferragamo textile products not only an incredible sophistication in terms of patterns and colors, but also a strong, recognizable identity which has lasted over the decades,” she added.
“She was really special, cosmopolitan, very open-minded and curious,” said Armando Branchini, deputy chairman of Altagamma. “She was passionate about accessories, textiles and jewelry and had excellent taste and a very strong aesthetic sense. She was very determined and worked hard, but at the same time was a mother of a big family. She had a very positive vision and enjoyed beauty. We met three times in India where she was looking for special stones and fabrics.” As part of the Altagamma foundation, Visconti Ferragamo would often attend events and hold speeches and Branchini said she “was considered an authority.”
“I’m really close to the Ferragamo family and especially to Fulvia’s mother Wanda,” said Mario Boselli, honorary president of Camera Nazionale della Moda.
“They are all incredible and I’m so sorry for their loss. It was always a pleasure to see Fulvia at the company’s runway shows and presentations and, since she was living in Milan, over the years, she, her husband Giuseppe Visconti and I attended a multitude of social events together,” he recalled.
“The women in the Ferragamo family are all very reserved. However, I have great memories of Fulvia on the beach at Castiglione della Pescaia with her three daughters, who were like little mermaids,” said fashion designer Chiara Boni. “I also remember that the night of her 18th birthday, at her party, I told my best friend that I was going to get married.”