Interesting interview today in the Financial Times weekend supplement, with Lapo Elkann, grand-son of Gianni Agnelli and one of the 3 of his grand-kids that hold Exor, which owns FIAT, which in turn owns Ferrari (a simplification, but you catch the drift).
Lapo is a bit of a rebel with an enthousiasm for art (although that term could be debatable...). He's been given the management of the new Tailor Made product line for Ferrari, which undoubtedly will produce many tasteless combinations which seem to be so popular in the Middle East. I'm sorry, that's maybe a bit harsh: Lapo did say that he was adamant about teaching his clients about taste and educating them into what would work, and what wouldn't.
The irony of that last statement is that at the end of the article the reporter was led to a Ferrari he was not supposed to write about. A special 458, which Luca di Montezemolo did not approve of and which he veto'd against being publicised. So the FT reader is left in the dark about this car. But interestingly, my contacts at the Ferrari factory have told me this story two months ago. Lapo has ordered a 458 in military camouflage colours! And that was his second choice, his first order in bright pink was flat-out refused.
So the head of the Tailor Made programme orders a 458 that L di M doesn't want seen in public....
The photo's accompanying the article were very poor as they showed very little of the detail of the actual cars. But on one you could see a bit of the interior: a 599 with blue denim interior, which had "artfully" been worn. It's different, I suppose....
The one thing that I do need to concede is that Lapo seemed very enthousiastic about everything, and he seemed very fanatical about "protecting the Ferrari brand". It just seems strange that it means something so different to him than it does to me.
It will be interesting to see what comes out of this personalisation programme in the coming years, but I fear not much of it will be considered classically beautiful. Let's hope I'm wrong.
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