Mario Talarico is a man that knows how to keep it all in perspective. He is a world-renowned master umbrella maker from Naples, and we were proud to honor him with the Magister Artis Star last October.
I could write about the impeccable quality of his umbrellas, or the painstaking attention to detail that he pays to each one of his masterpieces. I could even write about the countless movie stars, diplomats, royals and politicians that he's made umbrellas for. But that's not Mario... not all of him at least. To understand Mario, you need to look at the whole man: his humility, his passion, and his love for the simpler things. Family, hard work and dedication - these are the things that Mario cares about. This is what truly motivates him.
I met Mario in his workshop last summer. I expected my visit to be quick and technical, but I found so much more. When, after a long conversation about life and what really matters, I finally made my way out of his shop, Mario called after me with a Neapolitan proverb:
"Si ricordi, l'ultimo vestito non ha tasche!"
"Remember, your last suit has no pockets!"
It’s a reminder to never forget the things that really matter. The things that cannot be kept in your pockets, but are better stored in your heart, where they will stay safe forever.
When meeting Mario, I expected a simple craftsman. I met that and so much more. Thank you, Mario, for reminding me to keep it all in perspective.
Mario is a third generation umbrella maker. This is his workbench. It's over 200 years old, and is the same bench that his grandfather used when he was just learning the craft.