Have you heard about the Ferrari that kind of looks like an iPhone? No, seriously. What once might have been considered some kind of woeful contemporary art sculpture experiment may actually come to fruition with the news that long-time friends and former Apple design legends Sir Jony Ive and Marc Newson have signed on with the Italian supercar maker to produce its first-ever electric vehicle.
The pair will work with Ferrari's holding group, Exor, on behalf of LoveFrom, their recently formed creative collective. Intriguingly, both were in attendance at the Prancing Horse's luxury fashion debut — overseen by former Pal Zileri creative director Rocco Iannone — in Maranello earlier this summer, and it doesn't seem a stretch to suggest that they will also provide input when it comes to wider brand direction on that front and beyond. Newson, in particular, is well versed in this arena, having worked with the likes of Louis Vuitton and Nike — the latter partnership birthing his legendary Zvezdochka sneaker, as well as a limited-edition Air Max.
The tie-up gets even more interesting when considering that Exor has been heavily linked with approaches to the aforementioned Armani in recent years.
“As Ferrari owners and collectors, we could not be more excited about collaborating with this extraordinary company and in particular with the design team expertly led by Flavio Manzoni,” said Ive and Newson in a joint statement. “We see some uniquely exciting opportunities working together which we believe will yield important and valuable work.”
As The Verge reports, both men have been quick to air their distaste for modern car design in the past, having once described it as "insipid" and "at the bottom of a trough." The move to phase out fossil fuel automotives provides them with a blank canvas to reinvent and innovate. Earlier this year, Ferrari appointed technology industry veteran Benedetto Vigna as CEO ahead of its push into the electric car era. The European Union’s ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars comes into force in 2035.
Exor's decision to work with the duo brings to mind an article published by Highsnobiety last year that explored the new phenomenon of the "insourced collab." Citing the likes of Virgil Abloh at LVMH, Kerby Jean-Raymond at Reebok, and Teddy Santis at New Balance, Highsnobiety explored how companies were handing over creative power to third-parties more than ever before.
“These moves hint toward a collective realization on the part of brands that they might get more out of acqui-hiring their collaborators than they do out of doing one-off products with them." the article reads. "In a marketplace where young new luxury consumers are stoking more and more demand for product that comes from the minds of their favorite creative directors, this strategy might be driving toward a reality where the hyped rarities of yesterday are the status quo of tomorrow." While this piece was focused on the fashion industry, it’s relevant in this context as well.
"When you go out for a pint with Jony, it’s kind of like going for a pint with the future," U2's Bono once said of Ive. So what might a car by his and Newson look like? Made from a single sheet of material? Ikepod clocks in the dash? It hardly matters either way, as their mere involvement in the project is bound to have Ferrari stealing a march on their rivals.