Meet the next generation of Italian yacht owners, builders and designers

Allegra Bassani Antivari

24, marketing manager of Wally Yachts

Photography: Jonathan Glynn-Smith; Styling: Fiona Rubie & Stefano Ricci Team; Words: Risa Merl

2018 saw the last edition of the World Superyacht Awards to be held in Florence. To marked the occasion we dressed the next generation of Italian superyacht owners, designers and builders in the finest Italian style and asked them what they think the future holds for the industry...

Allegra Bassani Antivari

Simplicity is the epitome of Italian style and Italy wouldn’t be what it is if we didn’t have the sea surrounding us, almost like an island. We need to find new solutions in yachting, including new hull shapes for motor yachts, better connectivity on board and increased environmental awareness all round – including better education for those who enter the yachting industry, beyond their passion for the sea.

Lace Tito dress, £495,; Mary Jane suede shoes, POA,; Laureato chronograph in steel, £9,400,

Stefano de Vivo

40, chief commercial officer at Ferretti Group

I’ve been taken on sailboats or a RIB – anything that floats – since I was a baby. Then I started sailing and became an instructor by the time I was 14 and later studied naval architecture. Yachting has more or less stayed the same for the last 50 years – prioritising comfort at sea – but now people are using their yachts differently. Why work in an office when you can do it on a yacht in a beautiful place and then get off and explore?

Everything is pointing to more efficient ways of doing things – optimising. Not just fuel, but also in volumes and the way space is designed. In Italy, our history, present and future have always been about design art. In general, the purchase of yachts is still very emotional, and that’s not going to change.

Peak lapel silk cocktail jacket, £4,100, dress shirt, £570, trousers, £900, handmade silk bow tie, £170, handmade double-sided silk pocket square, £100, small rectangle cufflinks with labradorite, £1,100, all; Smoking Gommino driving shoes, £330,; Luminor Marina 8 Days Acciaio (PAM00563) watch, £5,600,

Sole Ferragamo

27, co-founder and artistic director of SO-LE Studio; daughter of Leonardo Ferragamo, owner of Nautor’s Swan

My first time on a sailboat was before I was one year old, and since then I have spent at least one month every year on a boat. Yachting has inspired my work as a fashion designer – a yacht has pure and elegant lines, yet intricate and advanced structures and technologies. Italians blend beauty and functionality by using an intelligent design and taking a user-centred focus.

Sustainability is important to tomorrow’s yacht owner, which I find inspiring. I design jewellery using leather remnants from the luxury fashion industry. We need to explore ways of being more eco-friendly and up-cycling in yacht building as well. Tech is the future. The yacht industry will innovate its technology offering, while maintaining its heritage. As my father always says, “We [Nautor’s Swan] always look for evolution and not revolution. The innovation is welcome, but only when it is well tested and safe for sailing.”

Silk dress, £995,; leather necklace, £340,; Possession watch in white gold and diamonds, £21,300,

Antonella Scarfiello

29, exterior design engineer at De Voogt Naval Architects

I discovered yachting during my studies and soon understood my real passion was to design boats. Italians are surrounded by beauty: in landscapes, cities, fashion and food. The mix of tradition and invention – this is what modern yacht owners really want. Yachts need to tell a story, whether it’s a personal story or a design story. In 20 years from now, Italian-built yachts will be more sculptural, sleek and high-tech.

Dress, POA,; Croche du Desert shoes, £975,

Frederico Fiorentino

43, yacht designer with Federico Fiorentina Design

My father has always been a boating enthusiast. He took me to the Genoa boat show at age five, and I decided from an early age I wanted to design boats. What makes Italians so stylish? The Renaissance, of course!

Innovation will come in the form of electronics, propulsion and hull design. If you look at pioneer yachts like Adler (Baglietto 1987) or Blue Eyes (now Blue East, Baglietto 2004) you realise that 15 to 20-year-old lines are still a strong reference today. Lower running costs, bigger interior spaces and glass, glass, glass – that is the view of tomorrow. Plus more refits.

Silk tuxedo jacket, £4,000, handmade silk bow tie, £170, both; tuxedo shirt, £570, trousers, £950, handmade double-sided silk pocket square, £100, singular silver cufflinks with enamel, £1,100, all; Colonnaki patent men’s shoes, £715,; Laureato Chronograph in steel, £9,400,

Cecilia Virone

25, sales engineer with Southern Wind Shipyards

I’m a passionate cruising and racing sailor and watersports lover, and I have a degree in yacht and powercraft design from Southampton Solent University. Italian yacht building is becoming more client-focused, rather than product-oriented. As a direct result, semi-custom and custom building are becoming more popular. Tomorrow’s yacht owner wants high-quality products, both in terms of performance and craftsmanship. They will look for outstanding customer care service throughout their lifetime.

Eco-friendly solutions, informed by technology, will direct the industry in the future. The yacht industry needs to blend more design from the luxury world, in particular automotive, real estate and private jets.

Dress, by Roksanda, £3,237,; Classico Jade watch in steel with diamonds, by Ulysse Nardin, £8,400,

Nicolò Piredda

24, yacht designer at AM Yacht Design; Young Designer of the Year 2018

I grew up in Sardinia sailing on small dinghies and fell in love with design at an early age – I have just combined my passions. Italians love the sea – we learn to smell the sea and hear the sound of the waves before anything else.

Tomorrow’s owner wants tailor-made solutions for each situation. The new designers will design customisable spaces – multifunctional areas able to change the intended use at any moment. Flexibility between in and outdoor, privacy and opening, ushering in a new era of “custom”. The future is about the domotics (smart home) revolution, as well as more glass and open spaces. We will speak and interact with the yacht as we already do with our phones in easier onboard controls.

Wool suit, £4,400, six-button waistcoat, £950, tuxedo shirt, £570, handmade silk tie, £170, handmade double-sided silk pocket square, £100, handmade crocodile leather belt, £1,400, small rectangle cufflinks with labradorite, £1,500, all; Laureato Chronograph, by Girard Perregaux, as before.

Claudio Corvino

31, sales area manager at Benetti

I am a sailor, and yachting and the sea is a passion as well as my job – I couldn’t live without being surrounded by boats. Flexibility and ease – these are the things that tomorrow’s owner focuses on. They want to get rid of the problems connected to yacht ownership. Clients have less time to use the boats than in the past, so this time has to be spent in the best way.

Yachts should not look like floating real estate. Tech and design will always get updated but design must not lose its soul. The super sailing yacht market is a big opportunity – being a sailor, I hope that it will develop. We need new products and designs to meet the needs of a new generation of owners.

Peak lapel silk jacket, £4,100, tuxedo shirt, £570, trousers, £1,400, crocodile leather handmade belt, £1,400, silver and bone Avorio cufflinks, £1,500, all; handmade silk bow tie, £170, handmade pre-folded pocket square, £100, both; Smoking Gommino driving shoes, £330,; Classic Fusion Blue Titanium watch, £7,300,

Alberto Mancini

40, founder of AM Yacht Design

Italians pay particular attention to style – it’s in our DNA, it’s part of our history, heritage, culture and tradition. We will see a huge improvement in efficiency over the next two decades, thanks to technological advances. Consequently, Italian yards will arrive closer to the quality of northern European shipyards. I’d love to find more solutions for transparency – for invisible portholes and radar domes.

Tuxedo silk jacket, £4,000, handmade pre-folded pocket square, £100, both; tuxedo shirt, £570, trousers, £800, handmade silk bow tie with Swarovski details, £200, Avorio silver cufflinks, £1,500, all; velvet evening slippers, by New & Lingwood, £295,; titanium watch, £69,167,

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