When Ferrari announced its debut fashion collection, our initial reaction was one of intrigue. But, with some more time and a deep-dive into Ferrari’s cultural reach, we realized that maybe cars and clothes weren’t that far apart after all.
As brands of every kind become universes, welcoming the idea of pop-up shops, experiences, and discordant collaborations, Ferrari’s foray into fashion comes at the perfect time. What’s more, the more we think about it, the more it feels natural, even logical. Ferrari’s presence in popular culture has meant that it’s never been far from fashion. And, with the Prancing Horse logo practically worshipped by celebrities, Ferrari has — in a roundabout way — existed in the same world as luxury labels for decades.
It makes sense, even on a design level. Ferraris are inspired by human anatomy; the organic curves and forms that typify the brand’s motorized offering are the same shapes that clothing is built around. The Ferrari presentation focused on exploring this connection. The link between clothing, car, and body, highlighted through design choices that translated to a machine-like, almost robotic aesthetic, suggested that driving a car and wearing clothing might be more similar than we first thought.
In this way, Ferrari’s collection can be seen as an act of translation. Visually and functionally, the collection originates in the iconic design of Ferrari cars. In fact, the starting point for Rocco Iannone — previously of Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, and Pal Zileri — was studying, dissecting, and morphing Ferrari cars into wearable items. The collection is populated with references and motifs that transport the viewer to a bustling, spark-dusted Ferrari workshop while elevated cuts and materials counteract with grace and elegance. In that dichotomy is the real core of Ferrari’s debut collection. The collection exists between form and function, blurring the lines of utility and gratuitous beauty while enveloping the body, augmenting its functions, and magnifying its forms.
Worth noting is that the vast majority of the collection is unisex. Running from size XXXS to XXXL, it comes as a vehicle for growing the Ferrari fan base and its ready-to-wear offering adds several more inches to Ferrari’s all-encompassing cultural reach. This is the first of several exciting drops, so keep an eye out for the future releases of the collection which will hit the Ferrari store soon.
Taking place in Maranello, Italy — the birthplace of the Prancing Horse — the collection was presented on the assembly line of the factory. Models walked past a myriad of machines and screens as white sheet lighting reflected off the sterile polished floors placing the focus on the clothing. While the Ferrari text logo and Prancing Horse logo feature heavily, the collection is a sure departure from the car merch that we’ve grown used to in the past. Instead, the Marque’s inimitable logos are enlarged, chopped, and screwed until they become bold references acting as the underlying link across all of the pieces.
A crystal clear example of this comes in the form of a highlight shirt styled in looks for both men and women. The oversized Ferrari logo splits the shirt into unmissable yellow, black, and Rosso Corsa stripes, transforming the logo into a design feature in its own right. Adding punch and substance to these visual references are the material choices and cuts. Asymmetry plays a central role, allowing Iannone to merge disparate elements. Outerwear gains unique character through pit-stop-style embellishment. Formal trench coats are spliced with Rosso Corsa arms transplanted from a racing suit while racing jackets feature cropped bodies and exaggerated collars to introduce a sense of considered couture.
Alongside the outerwear, accessories were the star of the show. Padded gloves coupled with floaty summer dresses were an exciting contradiction, highlighting the utility-luxury gap that underpins the collection. Silk neckerchiefs offered another elevated touch to the more functional looks while, on the other side of the equation, industrial webbing belts hung from tailored looks to ground them once more in the world of motoring.
Ferrari has carved its space in popular culture by pushing the envelope. Things that at first seem confusing fall into place naturally thanks to a level of craftsmanship and care in production that is rarely matched. Whether it’s a rumbling V12 or a delicate silk shirt, the Prancing Horse continues to be a mark of true luxury. Ferrari has successfully laid the path towards a whole new area for the brand. Not a sidelined project, but a new side that could grow to be as important and central to the Marque as its motoring divisions if the debut collection is anything to go by.
Shop the first drop of the Ferrari collection here.