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The Italian automaker Ferrari held a fashion show at its plant in Maranello, Italy, this past Saturday to debut its first ever clothing collection. Models wearing 52 ready-to-wear looks designed by Rocco Iannone—formerly a designer at Armani and Dolce and Gabbana—walked the factory’s assembly line in lieu of a runway.
Many of the pieces—the majority of which are unisex—featured bright colors and architectural shapes, but Iannone avoided any direct allusions to specific car models or, for that matter, automobiles in general. “The goal was to look at Ferrari’s DNA, its attention to materials and craftsmanship, and then to give it a new voice,” he told T&C in an interview before the show.
The company also unveiled the first of what it says will be several stores where it will sell clothing and other Ferrari-designed items, including sneakers and sunglasses on which it collaborated with Puma and Ray-Ban, respectively. Along with Maranello, locations will open in Milan, Rome, Los Angeles, and Miami this year.
Earlier in the month, the company reopened the doors at Cavallino, a restaurant located across the street from the factory that once served as a staff cafeteria and unofficial headquarters for founder Enzo Ferrari. The interior of the new incarnation of the space was designed by India Mahdavi and the kitchen is overseen by Massimo Bottura.
How hard is it for a carmaker to expand simultaneously into the worlds of fashion, retail, and food? “There’s a long tradition of brands broadening their portfolios,” Iannone said. “Hermès started with the horse—making harnesses—but now it creates so much more, even lipstick. Vuitton expanded its vision of travel to include clothing when it debuted its first collection in 1997. We think Ferrari—with its mastery of speed, craft, machine, and performance—can express its values in a full lifestyle vision.”
Later this year, Ferrari—whose high performance cars regularly win races and break speed records—will further test the idea that it can reach a broader audience by making a truly shocking (to car geeks at least) addition to its lineup: a SUV.
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