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Work Special
Tuscan Tales
created for Salvatore Ferragamo
a Cube Collective production

…when it comes to Florence, it can tease amazement out of the most jaded traveller.

Ming is a firecracker. The Tuscan sun sets her off in a way that everyone on set wants either to be her or pinch her cheeks until marshmallows are dispensed. Cutest thing on mile-long legs. Case in point: the night we arrive, she disappears from the taxi queue and our crew of ten (plus respective luggage and then some) goes on missing-Victoria’s-Secret-model alert. Turns out she was buying cookies for everyone. See what I mean.

Nicole is a resolute goddess of her own right, like the unwavering Italian sun. Everything and nothing reminds me of our brunch of 2012 at the Breakfast Club in Hoxton, still a time when I was pretty much wearing picnic blankets and guzzling lattes like there was no tomorrow/scales. Nicole is the same Nicole: smiley, generous and patient; except now she reigns the intranets. And boy does she love a Boomerang.

Shoot gear and one extra shot of espresso to kick-start a long hurdle.

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knit, earrings and eyewear SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

Now, when it comes to Florence, it can tease amazement out of the most jaded traveller. Be it the height of summer, when the air is a flaming cocktail of musty leather and diesel (somewhat illustrative of Dante’s first level of Inferno), or an off-peak weekend in January when the winter sun blasts the flagstone streets in a manner not dissimilar to a Borbottoni painting – it’s magic. And Ferragamo makes up a good chunk of the Florentine magic – their history steeped into every stone in Piazza di Santa Trinita, and in properties peppered around the district and up the winding passes of Tuscany.

As clients, they are humorous, jovial even – like the cherry-red Alfa Romeo Spider convertible; like the colour-block eyewear we were shooting. Can we try something crazy for this shot? ‘Certo!’, they’d yell. Feedback would be lush and animated, very La vita e Bella. We had but five hours to direct and shoot a digital campaign in two remote locations and somehow, everything came together, like magic.

Spot the stories at @Ferragamo from October 15

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Two horses appeared out of nowhere. Because Tuscany.

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Can we try something crazy for this shot? ‘Certo!’, they’d yell.

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photography & creative direction SHINI PARK production CUBE COLLECTIVE shoot assistance SIMON SCHMIDT video PARIS ZARCILLA video assistance RUTH WHITTLE