Merging craftsmanship with fashion
Published on October 4th, 2023
Leonardo Ferragamo may have inherited his designer father Salvatore’s legacy of alta moda, or high fashion, but sailing rules his heart. This deep-seated passion prompted the Florence-raised fashion magnate, who started racing at 15 aboard a Flying Dutchman, to acquire a controlling interest in the Finnish sailing yacht builder Nautor Swan in 1998.
Just as he helmed his family’s fashion label to global success, Ferragamo envisioned transforming Nautor Swan into “an international brand” by marrying Finnish craftsmanship with Italian design. Twenty-five years on, it has exceeded even his wildest expectations, becoming a brand known far beyond the sailing world.
Nautor Swan builds 100-foot-plus Maxi racing/cruising yachts for its wealthiest clients and a series of smaller one-design race boats for sailors who love competition as much as the Maxi owners.
When Ferragamo purchased the Finnish yard, he also created ClubSwan, the company’s high-performance arm. He wanted to bring back racing—“instinctive to every sailor,” he says—to Swan owners. “It existed already, but it needed to go to the next level,” Ferragamo tells Robb Report. “When I acquired the company, I said, ‘Before we look for new clients, let’s make sure we serve everybody who has believed in Swan in the past’.” – Full report