It’s not exactly Ferrari Lite, but the fabled Italian sports car brand’s latest model, the California, is just in time for the pinched economy. For one thing, it’s more understated, smaller and lighter than the company’s other testosterone-fueled beasts, even if it can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds. And, if past Ferraris focused more on rpm, torque and horsepower, the California takes comfort equally into account, from its retro feeling, based on the brand’s 1957 California 250, to a roomier interior with handcrafted leather seats and a sophisticated gearbox with automatic or manual options.
Then there’s the price: just less than $200,000, compared with the top-of-the-line Scaglieti at $340,000.
“We will never steer away from our sports car tradition where performance is key, but with the new California, Ferrari has developed a new concept of sports car that mixes high-performance aspects with elegance and comfort,” says Federico Pastorelli, development manager of Ferrari’s eight-cylinder segment, which includes the Scuderia and the 430 models. “It’s the kind of car you can drive to the theater or use everyday.”
According to Pastorelli, the waiting list for the California is filled with younger customers, compared with Ferrari’s traditional clientele that is dominated by fortysomething senior executives who prefer to discuss rpm and horsepower rather than leather seats and wood trim.
The $2.1 billion Ferrari plans to produce 2,500 Californias a year, and there’s already a two-year backlog of orders. Aside from its prime markets, the U.S. and Europe, Ferrari sees significant potential in newly rich markets such as Russia and China.
The eight-cylinder California has direct injection that cuts emissions and fuel consumption, a retractable hardtop, a new racing seat with an all-carbon-fiber frame and an aluminum chassis and body. The leather interiors, hand-stitched by Poltrona Frau, are available in 14 colors including two new entries, chocolate and iroko brown.
Ferrari red is still an option for the exterior, but potential customers now have plenty of other shades from which to choose: a total of 16, to be exact, from pastels to metallics, plus the new azzurro, or light blue, shade, especially created for California’s launch.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast