The Ferrari brand is known all over the world. Recently, the company has been trying it out with a fashion line, showing at Fashion Week in Milan. Creative director Rocco Iannone on his first time at the Ferrari factory site, the cult series Magnum P.I., and the risk of doing mere merchandising.
It's one of the most ambitious projects in the luxury industry: sports car manufacturer Ferrari is trying its hand at a fashion line. The Maranello-based company, in which the Italian Agnelli family holds a stake, has hired Rocco Iannone, a designer who brings experience from Armani, opened a store at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, and is showing at Milan Fashion Week alongside mega-brands like Gucci, Prada and Versace.
Rocco Iannone: Of course, I'm a Ferrari fan. All Ferrari models are special. As Enzo Ferrari used to say, "The best Ferrari is the next one." But I have to admit that for my Spring 2023 collection I was inspired by a few iconic models of the past. I'm referring to the Ferrari Terrarossa and the 308 GTS. The two cars became part of pop culture in the ’80s thanks to some popular movies and TV series like Magnum P.I.
With what feelings did you enter the Maranello site for the first time?
As you can imagine, it was a moment of great emotion. The gates of the historic Maranello entrance are the starting point of a story that has captivated the whole world with charm and style for 75 years. When I walked through the gate, a new journey began for me that I continue day after day, collection after collection.
Ferrari is an iconic brand whose cars are instantly recognizable. What stylistic elements did you define for the clothing? What is the role of the rearing horse, the "Cavallino Rampante"?
When I started my work, I was interested in developing a deep understanding of the aesthetics of our cars and identifying precisely those distinctive elements that make Ferrari design iconic. I found that the choice of colors, the lines and details, the interior, the high-end materials combined with craftsmanship create a perfect mix. Using my personal signature as a designer, I translated these elements into a fashion project that can represent Cavallino Rampante with its emblem.
To what extent is there a risk of the fashion line becoming Ferrari merchandising or a mere gimmick?
I am absolutely aware of this risk. To eliminate it, I always try to focus on the quality of the design and to create a cool, dynamic wardrobe that expresses the spirit of the times. From season to season, we make progress in giving the Ferrari collection more credibility by growing and, figuratively speaking, "standing on our own two feet." At the same time, we are becoming active in new lifestyle businesses. There, the thrust and the goals are different.
The starting point of the collection was the Ferrari lifestyle, that is, the universe whose center of gravity is the sports cars made in Maranello. We choose the perspective of cinema and let the story be told by the people who have defined the history of the brand. Ferrari is not only an object of desire, but also tradition.
How did you then express this idea in concrete terms?
I mimic it with an unusual camouflage print that features intense, almost mimetic shadows of Californian palm trees. I combine it with a summer color palette with shades like light blue, khaki and earthy tones. Furthermore, I express the different souls of Ferrari with the style codes, which I continue to rotate consistently. Tailoring, workwear and references to racing can be found in the collection. The materials I use are silk, cotton, jacquard wool, jersey and glove leather. Denim becomes an artist's canvas. For this, we use bleaching effects, which we create with the help of ozone technology. The embroideries are made of screws and bolts, which are also used in engines. Here we combine them with crystals.
What customer do you have in mind when you design a collection?
Our project aims to reach a wider group of customers than just car fans. We have our sights set on Generation Z and millennials. Our particular focus is on women. Conversely, this in no way means that female buyers of our cars are excluded. It already happens that buyers of our cars are the first to ask about and buy new products that represent the Ferrari brand.
Which product category holds the greatest potential in the future?
Accessories will play an important role. We are determined to expand our range here.
This article was published by textilwirtschaft.de on 11 October 2022