Sports car manufacturer Ferrari is entering the fashion business, and it’s not aiming at the super-wealthy. If you fancy being dressed head to foot in fast fashion, here’s what you can look forward to…
Ferrari V12 production cars were suspended over the factory floor as the luxury carmaker launched into a new era as a lifestyles brand, with a runway show unveiling its first ready-to-wear collection.
But with Ferrari’s loyal customer base mostly more mature consumers who fill waiting lists for the nearly 10,000 annual production of luxury cars starting in price around $200,000, what we were to expect from the collection?
Instead of the more staid driving clothes in quiet luxury fabrics and flat driving shoes you might have expected, this was a collection clearly targeting a younger generation that might not be aware of Ferrari’s Formula One racing pedigree and its coveted performance street cars.
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Models strutted along the production line in the company’s headquarters in Maranello, Italy, wearing designs by brand diversification creative director Rocco Iannone. There was a deliberate interplay between Ferrari’s long lineage of sleek, curved automotive bodies and the fashion line, strong on structured outwear contrasting with fluid, bright printed silks in Ferrari red, Scuderia yellow and electric blue.
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The bold colours were matched by startling designs including trenchcoats, bomber jackets and parkas intricately modelled to give the appearance of a shell, branded with the famed Prancing Pony logo placed discreetly on the nape. Clever rubberized accents on pockets and sleeves to recall the automotive heritage.
Coats were complemented by daywear including silky midi skirts in new Ferrari prints featuring collages of classic racing cars and the Ferrari logo. The youthful streetwear feel was sophisticated, with oversized Ferrari branding on shirts, complemented by wide shorts with reflective tape or loose-fitting trousers sportily fastened at the ankle.
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Footwear included steel stiletto moccasins with rubber soles for women, or trekking sandals with flashes of colour and a sneaker collaboration with Puma for men. Accessories included big Prancing Pony crystal earrings, trailing Ferrari-branded belts and futuristic sunglasses by Rayban.
But who does Ferrari expect to wear the clothes? “The young generations have the power to express the energy and the power of a brand,” Iannone said of the target audience. The 35-year-old designer was previously creative director at Pal Zileri after more than a decade at Giorgio Armani and a stint at Dolce&Gabbana.
“We want to attract young people and women,” Iannone said. “Our targets are not just those who buy a Ferrari but also those who have awareness of the brand and of its values,” he said.
Iannone, a native of Calabria in the south of Italy, said he worked hard on fabrics, which include silk, with a printed pattern of Ferrari iconography, and nylon. “Most of them are high performance technical fabrics but with a haute-couture touch,” he said.
The seasonless collection will be released in six stages this year. A good 80 percent of the collection is meant to be genderless, with availability in a range of sizes from XXXS to XXXL.
The fashion collection is part of a brand diversification project that could contribute up to 10 percent of Ferrari’s bottom line within a decade, said chief brand diversification officer Nicola Boari. The project encompasses retail and licensing, which has been completely overhauled since 2019, entertainment, including Ferrari theme parks in Barcelona and Dubai and a new e-sports venture, and luxury experiences for Ferrari owners.
Though Ferrari is among the most recognized brands in the world, Boari said he is not taking for granted that younger generations have the same knowledge and passion as their parents. He has slashed the range of licensed products aimed at Formula 1 fans, and now wants to reach out to a generation that isn’t, for the moment, interested in Ferrari’s automotive range – or at least, until they can afford to buy them.
The Ferrari clothing will be available through a remodelled flagship store, and new stores planned to open this year in Milan, Rome, Los Angeles and Miami. Ferrari has also reopened its historic Cavallino restaurant at the factory gates under the tutelage of Michelin three-star chef Massimo Bottura.
“Ferrari wants to champion Italian excellence and the best of our country’s creativity,” said Ferrari chairman John Elkann. “Today’s fashion show in our factory and the openings of the Ferrari store and the Cavallino restaurant in Maranello are signs of a strong and optimistic Italy, ready for growth and renewal.”