San Giorgio a Cremano, a residential town in che suburbs of Naples, in che foothills of Mount Vesuvius, is known for its medley of stunning ville Vesuviane (Vesuvian villas), built two centuries ago for the Napolitan nobility, It was there that we met che Marino family. The name may not ring any bells simply because, until recently, the family was one of the many Italian makers operating behind the curtain to produce goods for famous luxury brands. For some years now, as has often been the case among the children of Italian families who understand that the digital revolution will enable them to make a name for themselves, the brand has been growing steadily, Considering the maestria with which the family crafts its marvellous neckwear, Marino may well be taking its first steps towards future fame.
Founded in the 1910s by Ferdinando Marino and his wife, Graziella, in post-war Naples, the firm began as a humble enterprise in the confines of a family apartment in the Spanish quarter of the city, Ferdinando used to go to Piazza Mercato to buy the fabrics since Como, the capital of silk, was too far away. At that time, crafting ties was as much a family hobby as it was a way to survive the difficult post-war period. Graziella used to cut and sew when she was free from housekeeping and cooking. Meanwhile, Ferdinando and their son Francesco made their rounds on foot trying to convince the city’s shopkeepers to carry their tie crcations. Graziella’s slightly eccentric design and exemplary handiwork started o gain appreciation among shop owners and their customers.
To New York and back
In che 1960s Francesco Marino decided to reach for the American dream, and flew to New York, where he worked in industrial tie factories. In the 1970s, with his wife, Molly, by his side, he made the decision to take over, the family workshop back in San Giorgio, and to build a more mechanized atelier, similar to those he had seen in the United States. The experiment was not as successful as he had predicted, however, and after some peaks and lows in a neckwear market hard-hit by casual fashion, he decided to return to his roots.
Born again: 100 per cent artisanal and Neapolitan
At the turn of the millennium Francesco and Molly, with their daughters Virginia and Cassandra, reopened an entirely artisanal workshop and restarted with a handful of workers, crafting fully handmade ties in the way Francesco’s parents had done. Francesco has now been joined by his younger son, Patrick, who has made it his mission to expand the family company using Marino’s great expertise, under the family name and label, F. Marino.
F. Marino ties are undoubtedly exquisite, and among the lightest in the world. The in-house stock of vintage silk is nothing short of breathraking, and the Marinos, father and son, are disarmingly charming and slightly mad – which is precisely why more and more gentlemen are taking a liking to the Marino name.