MARANELLO, Italy — Starting from Ferrari’s global brand awareness and luxury positioning, brand diversification creative director Rocco Iannone’s aim was to offer the label’s diehard fans as well as a potential new group of customers — women and the younger generation — a collection that would be instantly recognizable, with the Ferrari aesthetic and a futuristic edge.
“Let’s face it, if you enter a Ferrari store, it’s not because you need another raincoat. You are looking for something special,” said Iannone ahead of the show on Sunday evening, at the tail end of a Ferrari experience weekend.
Iannone translated his expertise working for brands including Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Pal Zileri into a sophisticated collection akin to haute couture given the technical materials employed and the manual craftsmanship of the Italian specialized suppliers he worked with.
The set was impressive, as the models walked down the skinny, almost 427-foot runway staged in Ferrari’s assembly line at its impressive headquarters here. This was the first luxury fashion collection — and first runway show — for Ferrari.
The fact that the iconic sports car maker is serious about the project and did not cut corners was exemplified by the production of a show that opened with Mariacarla Boscono and closed with Natalia Vodianova. A new soundtrack conceived by Frédéric Sanchez and special light effects both contributed to convey the idea of speed. Eighty percent of the lineup is fluid, as the designs can be worn by either gender and different body shapes, and it is season-less, as drops will be unveiled throughout the year until June 2022.
Iannone explained that Ferrari’s car designers are inspired by the human body and that he was reversing this approach, starting from the brand’s instantly recognizable car designs to return “full-circle” to the curves of the anatomy, working on proportions, geometries and volumes.
For example, an easy-to-wear caban was functional — a key priority for Iannone — but its construction was more elaborate than at first glance, with collar, shoulder and sleeve cut from a single piece. A parka was made in an iridescent jacquard reminiscent of carbon fibers both on the inside and the outside of the garment.
The designer started with outerwear as bold statement pieces, creating the silhouettes around them and showing hooded anoraks slashed with vents; a beautiful belted nylon trench in a deep burgundy shade that had the same touch and feel as organza, and a red parka made from recycled plastic bottles, as sustainability was top of mind for the designer. The fabrics were all high-performance, water and wind-resistant, but they had a soft texture, as in the case of a nylon jacquard that felt like Mikado silk.
Iannone played with reflective elements and iridescent surfaces, always mindful of color, ranging from Ferrari’s signature red to the giallo — or yellow — Modena, from the name of the city nearest to Maranello, or the deep blue and green also typical of Ferrari’s sleek street cars. At the same time, blouses and Bermudas in silk twill from Como were splashed with fun print patchworks of archival Ferrari imagery and magazine covers from the ‘40s to ‘60s, as he observed that “Ferrari is pop” and has an “incredible visual patrimony.”
So much so that Iannone unveiled on the runway new exclusive sneakers he designed as part of the brand’s license with Puma, as well as new Ray-Ban eyewear models.
Iannone was tasked with creating a collection that shifted from Ferrari’s previous merchandising approach to one that spoke of design, fashion and lifestyle and would reflect the brand’s luxury positioning. With the manifesto presented Sunday, he succeeded, infusing his creativity into a lineup that felt up-to-date and stylish.
“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.”
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, currently racing in Formula One for Scuderia Ferrari, attended the show sitting near Elkann and his wife Lavinia Borromeo, who was already wearing a blouse designed by Iannone, embellished with a print of red Ferrraris.
Leclerc did not appear to be jaded by the location, enthusing about the impact of the venue. He was equally impressed by the collection and its “flashy colors,” which were much to his taste, and the references to motor racing as the belts on the runway were similar to the ones used in Formula One, blended with “top fashion.”
Carlo Capasa, head of the Italian Camera della Moda, said he wanted to attend the show as a “sign of open-mindedness in a world that is changing, as fashion is changing and we are interested in seeing different and new points of view.”
He praised the boldness of the company for staging a show. Ferrari, he continued, is a patrimony of Italian creativity and efficiency and is to be supported. He praised the high quality of the products and remarked on the “unexpected” location.