Rocco Iannone

MILAN — Ferrari N.V. is launching a new lifestyle project and has tapped designer Rocco Iannone as its brand diversification creative director. 

Iannone is tasked with developing the creative content, design and image of all of Ferrari’s own and licensed women’s, men’s and children’s apparel and accessories collections and he will report to Nicola Boari, Ferrari’s chief brand diversification officer. 

As reported, Iannone, 35, exited Pal Zileri last week after two years at the helm of the Italian men’s wear brand. With a fashion degree from Milan’s Marangoni Institute, he was previously head men’s designer at Giorgio Armani and designer at Dolce & Gabbana.

“This project has enormous potential with clients and brand lovers,” an upbeat Iannone told WWD, also pointing to the pool of opportunities it allows in China. Although Ferrari has in the past ventured into lifestyle categories, this is the first time the project is “truly defined in an organic way,” the designer contended. Iannone’s design team and the division will be based in Milan.

“We will work with the values of the brand and reinterpret them in fashion,” explained Iannone, adding that the collections will be placed in the high-end range of the spectrum in sync with the Ferrari label’s positioning. They will be made in Italy and to this end, the apparel collections will be produced by Giorgio Armani’s manufacturing sites under a long-term agreement. Details of the collaboration were not provided by the Italian fashion house, but it is understood the designer’s name will not appear on the products.

Iannone was drawn by the opportunity to “interpret a universal brand,” whose imagery and strength lies not only in the automotive world. “When one travels outside Italy, people talk about the country’s four Fs — fashion, food, furniture and Ferrari — without placing the latter in one category. It is a legendary brand with universal values that can be applied to any area. It’s the most iconic brand in the world, it was an offer I could only accept given the challenge, the dimension and the caliber of the label and the project.”

The timing of the launch of the first collection was not disclosed. “There will be some teasing and we will take things one step at a time,” Iannone said.

The project will feed on the “two souls” of the brand, continued Iannone, pointing to the passion the Formula 1 sports generates, and the “hyper design, aesthetics, luxury and beauty” of the GT division. “The sports cap will continue to exist,” he said when asked about the basic Ferrari memorabilia fans buy, but the design bar will be raised, moving away from pure merchandising. “The collections will embrace the two worlds” and live under the same umbrella. The storied Ferrari “Cavallino [the prancing horse]” restaurant in Maranello, Italy, where the company is based, will be led by Michelin-star chef Massimo Bottura. Bottura, whose restaurant Osteria Francescana stands in Modena, a 15-minute drive from Maranello, has famously collaborated with Gucci on a range of projects, including the Osteria at Gucci Garden in Florence.

Ferrari SpA’s chief executive officer Louis Camilleri revealed on Monday during a conference call with analysts that revenues derived by the extra-automotive area through this new project will account for 10 percent of total profits in seven to ten years. Licenses are estimated to total 800 million euros, but Camilleri said the number of licenses was too high and forecast slashing the agreements by 50 percent and cutting categories by 30 percent.

Ferrari closed the third quarter of the year with sales of 915 million euros.

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