The New Guy by Chris Collier
by Chris Collier
April 20th, 2022

A Modena Man

Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari was born in Modena, Italy, in 1898. The automotive icon’s birthplace is home to the Fiorano Circuit, where his creations have been tested and pushed to their limits since 1972. Marcello Becchi, vice president of sales and marketing at decorative film supplier Vetrilite in Coral Springs, Fla., was born five years prior and spent his youth around autos that sparked a connection to fashion and design.

For Marcello Becchi, Ferraris are more than just cars.

WF: What was it like growing up in Ferrari’s hometown?
Becchi: The only reason you would have skipped school is if your dad tells you, ‘Ferrari is trying the new [Formula 1] F1, let’s go to the circuit.’ If you’re from there, it’s something that goes above and beyond you being human—you are a Ferrari fan before anything else.

WF: You graduated from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in 1993, moving to the states for a career in flooring in 1997. What was your first, “welcome to America,” moment?
Becchi: There’s one thing you never do in Italy: if you’re ordering a plate of pasta with shrimp, you don’t put parmesan cheese on it. People will look at you weird; a waiter will say no. When I arrived here, I went to an Italian restaurant, and we were waiting for a table. They served this guy a plate of beautiful spaghetti with shrimp. He proceeded to put parmesan cheese on top. I had to tell him it was wrong, and he looked at me like, ‘Who are you?’

WF: America and Italy contain contrasting cultures, extending beyond entrée etiquette. How do the two differ on residential decoration?
Becchi: In Italy, more likely than not, you will be born and die in the same house or two houses; people don’t move a lot. When they decorate their home, they do it to reflect who they are. They don’t consider the home an asset like here in the United States. In the United States, people move every five, six, or seven years. You consider your home an asset; hence, you decorate it in a way that’s not offensive to whoever will buy it. When I arrived here, the number-one selling product for flooring was beige Italian travertine.

Marcello Becchi gearing up for a test drive.

WF: What is decorative film’s role in new-wave commercial and residential spaces?
Becchi: An enormous amount of glass is a branding opportunity—a canvas where a company needs to communicate either to their customers or people. The New York Yankees have a facility in Tampa, [Fla.], where they do spring training. They were talking with my dealer about the glass and were thinking about frosted film. I cannot believe a franchise with the value of the New York Yankees does not understand that the glass is a way to communicate the history and value of the brand with journalists or whoever comes in.

WF: Vetrilite never pursued that opportunity further, but you have done several memorable projects since entering the film industry in 2019. How do you collaborate and connect with your clients?
Becchi: You have to understand your duty as a dealer or somebody that sells window film. We’re all different. I go in with the idea that I’m the designer here—you have no idea what you can do with this media. Tell me what you want, and I will show you what we can do. You open their minds to what the possibilities are.

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  1. Great job Marcello

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