Ferrari makes roaring Milan Fashion Week debut
Ferrari has pulled out all the stops for its maiden Milanese show. The luxury sports car manufacturer put the accent on speed, technology, performance and design on Sunday, staging a striking runway show. Ferrari unveiled its Fall/Winter 2022-23 collection inside a huge hangar in Milan’s exhibition centre, within which an almost 180 m-long catwalk gave the impression of an endless asphalt ribbon disappearing into the night, barely illuminated by dancing red and blue laser lights.
To an electro-pop soundtrack by French musician Frédéric Sanchez, the models tread the lengthy runway clad in dark, austerely chic outfits, occasionally brightened by touches of red. Ferrari’s signature colour accents the collection’s looks, cropping up in a pair of stiletto-heeled shoes, a belt, a handbag, a pair of leather gloves, a sweater, and even the lining of a lavish shearling jacket, or as a scarlet ribbon outlining the body’s curves in an ebony dress.
The silhouettes designed by Creative Director Rocco Iannone are at once powerful and feminine. His black-lipsticked dark ladies wear, with the same innate elegance, ample trench coats and broad-shouldered sport jackets in a combination of canvas and leather, flannel suits with darted trousers, vinyl apron dresses and sober suits with below-the-knee skirts, a reference to Italian film divas with a passion for Ferrari, like Anna Magnani and Monica Vitti.
“I delved into the car maker’s 75-year-long history, picking up all that [Ferrari] signifies in the collective imagination, not simply in the automobile world but also in cinema, music, contemporary art and more. Everything that has contributed to making Ferrari into a legend,” said Iannone talking to FashionNetwork.com. The designer, formerly with Dolce & Gabbana and Giorgio Armani, was hired by Pal Zileri in November 2019 to embark on this ambitious project.
Ferrari, based in Maranello in central Italy, believes in the project and has invested significantly to diversify into fashion. Two years ago, it created the Ferrari Brand Diversification division, notably focused on developing luxury ready-to-wear collections for women, men and children. The design studio and the marketing and merchandising departments, some 30 people in total, were deployed in brand-new offices in the heart of Milan in January 2020. The pandemic did not hamper Ferrari's plans, giving instead the car maker two years to fine-tune the project.
After a first show held at Ferrari’s headquarters in Maranello in June 2021, joining the Milanese calendar was a necessary step to bolster the brand's fashion credentials. Licensed products, created for Ferrari and Formula 1 fans, are still sold at Ferrari stores, but their range has been streamlined and a number of licenses have been terminated. Iannone has been tasked with giving an upmarket twist to these products, available alongside the fashion range in Ferrari stores, which too have undergone a thorough make-over.
“My mission is to develop a project consistent with the perception of Ferrari as a luxury brand, with intrinsic design and craftsmanship values, positioned in the very high-end segment of the market,” said Iannone. “Everything is strictly produced in Italy, by manufacturers that are specialists in their fields. We want our products to be peerless, and this year we will launch accessories and leather goods,” added Iannone.
The new Ferrari collection presented in Milan has evolved towards a more sophisticated couture architecture, enhanced by precious, high-tech materials like ultra-resistant carbon fibre that becomes supple and malleable blended with wool, with an added luminous glow. The focus is clearly on outerwear, with oversize jackets and elegant coats, one notably in white cashmere.
Automobile references are of course present in the collection, but subtly so. The brand's horse rampant logo is never ostentatiously on show, but features discreetly on a belt buckle or in an abstract motif. In a similar vein, the collection includes a mechanic’s overalls for men in red silk, or its leather biker-style counterpart with padded shoulders, for women, or a suit made of a shiny metallic fabric that looks like aluminium sheeting, and woollen pilot’s head-coverings equipped with visors.
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