Interview with Lapo Elkann - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 31 Old 11-05-2011, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Interview with Lapo Elkann

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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post #2 of 31 Old 11-05-2011, 12:46 PM
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Onno- Seems like I have seen photos of a Ferrari with a denim interior, but cannot remember where.

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post #3 of 31 Old 11-05-2011, 12:53 PM
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Great story, Onno. (Did I see an apology for harshness ??? must be an aberration,...LOL). Enjoyed the read.
Well,...if nothing else, at least you can say this guy, Lapo, is passionate. w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #4 of 31 Old 11-05-2011, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Chen Shiba DDS View Post
(Did I see an apology for harshness ??? must be an aberration,...LOL)
Haha, touche my friend!

Well, we grow a bit older and a bit softer, don't we?


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post #5 of 31 Old 11-05-2011, 01:14 PM
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You can see why LDM isn't exactly thrilled. Here is Lapo's 458 and the 599 he had with the denim upholstery made from worn jeans. He also has a Grand Cherokee to match the 458.
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post #6 of 31 Old 11-05-2011, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by iainuk View Post
You can see why LDM isn't exactly thrilled. Here is Lapo's 458 and the 599 he had with the denim upholstery made from worn jeans. He also has a Grand Cherokee to match the 458.
The denim jean 599 has been out for a long time - here is another version he did on a California - I do like the matt blue!

They are not worn jeans - in the designer world they are called stone washed

I can not for the life of me understand why a customer can not have whatever they want ... that being said I seriously doubt Ferrari would turn down a request from a paying customer.

Anyone wonder who he is trying to appeal to with these colors and selections
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post #7 of 31 Old 11-05-2011, 01:28 PM
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There's probably medication or a 12-step program that could help people like that.

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post #8 of 31 Old 11-05-2011, 01:37 PM
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He also, apparently, cannot park, the lines are not suggestions...

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post #9 of 31 Old 11-05-2011, 01:52 PM
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He also, apparently, cannot park, the lines are not suggestions...
To be fair most European parking spaces have not kept pace with the growth in size of cars so it's not surprising that a car as wide as the 458 doesn't fit in a regular space easily.

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post #10 of 31 Old 11-05-2011, 02:18 PM
 
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I didn't know until a few days ago that C4s (possibly other Fcars from the early 70's) came from the factory with plaid cloth interior.

somehow I doubt Ferrari would be keen on selling a 458 with plaid interior, but it's part of their heritage.

I say, give the customer what they want, and it's their problem if they can't resell it
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post #11 of 31 Old 11-05-2011, 02:51 PM
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I didn't know until a few days ago that C4s (possibly other Fcars from the early 70's) came from the factory with plaid cloth interior.

somehow I doubt Ferrari would be keen on selling a 458 with plaid interior, but it's part of their heritage.

I say, give the customer what they want, and it's their problem if they can't resell it
I agree it's key - 23,000.00 literally!

I would love to see the Gent at Ferrari telling a Saudi Owner - no Sultan that request is just not inline with our new program - you need to talk to the guy over that is standing next to his purple denim California.
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post #12 of 31 Old 11-05-2011, 02:54 PM
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Oh boy, in no time, someone would post that pic of Hello Kitty version ! But then, if the owner is happy.... w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #13 of 31 Old 11-05-2011, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
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To be fair most European parking spaces have not kept pace with the growth in size of cars so it's not surprising that a car as wide as the 458 doesn't fit in a regular space easily.
Well, from what I have been told Lapo is not the best of drivers so not a surprise that he can't park. Apparently curbed wheels and dented panels are a near weekly occurence with him.
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post #14 of 31 Old 11-05-2011, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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They are not worn jeans - in the designer world they are called stone washed
The reporter was specific about it, saying it had been worn out in places. Not stone washed. From the photo's here I can't see any evidence of that, though.

@iainuk - thanks for the pics of the 458, I had not seen it before. The matching Grand Cherokee was described in the FT article.


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post #15 of 31 Old 11-05-2011, 11:18 PM
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From the cars he has "personalised" I would say that his tastes may not be eclectic in the traditional "Ferrari sense" but they certainly are different.

I doubt that this will translate into a lot of peculiar cars on the road as the traditional F car buyer is by "age and stage of life" not the wild type.

All the same a jeans interior is neither tasteful nor artistic and equally not appropriate for an F car....a beech buggy yes.
Call me old and artistically retarded.
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post #16 of 31 Old 11-05-2011, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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I doubt that this will translate into a lot of peculiar cars on the road as the traditional F car buyer is by "age and stage of life" not the wild type.
A large number of Ferraris is being bought by new money from new markets, not traditional buyers. This percentage is growing each year. Companies like Novitec Rosso and Mansory make money creating hideous things and Ferrari wants part (or all) of that personalisation business. I suspect that you will be proven wrong and that we will see some pretty tasteless cars coming out of the gates at Maranello.

But hopefully I am wrong.


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post #17 of 31 Old 11-06-2011, 12:51 AM
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He also, apparently, cannot park, the lines are not suggestions...
Well, he doesn't care at all. The pic was taken a few months ago in Corso San Gottardo, a narrow street in the Southern part of Milano. He left that monstruosity abandoned for more than one hour. In the pic you can see the tram blocked there, but not all the other vehicles behind it. Lapo arrived and, under a deluge of insults, went away without saying a word. He is well known here to be 'mad'. A few years ago it was found half dead, stuffed with drugs, in the flat of a transexual. Being a nephew of the Avvocato, the family cannot send him away, but he is barely tolerated and only 'PR' or 'creative' roles are given to him. Years ago he invented the H2o company, which produced very expensive sportwear with the Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo brands: it failed in a short time.
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post #18 of 31 Old 11-06-2011, 01:27 AM
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Well, he doesn't care at all. The pic was taken a few months ago in Corso San Gottardo, a narrow street in the Southern part of Milano. He left that monstruosity abandoned for more than one hour. In the pic you can see the tram blocked there, but not all the other vehicles behind it. Lapo arrived and, under a deluge of insults, went away without saying a word. He is well known here to be 'mad'. A few years ago it was found half dead, stuffed with drugs, in the flat of a transexual. Being a nephew of the Avvocato, the family cannot send him away, but he is barely tolerated and only 'PR' or 'creative' roles are given to him. Years ago he invented the H2o company, which produced very expensive sportwear with the Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo brands: it failed in a short time.
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I have read articles confirming that which is what I was referencing earlier in the thread - regarding who he is trying to appeal to with his designs n lifestyle.

Here is a picture of Mr Denim himself and a closer shot of the interior.
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post #19 of 31 Old 11-06-2011, 02:21 AM
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The Tailor Made programme may be a smart way to guarantee future work for the Classiche department as many cars may need to be shipped back to the factory to be repainted and retrimmed in more subtle and traditional colours and materials. Fashion is a transient thing and it is currently in vogue to flaunt your wealth or personal taste through highly personalised cars. That fad may not have a long shelf life.

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post #20 of 31 Old 11-06-2011, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by maurodev View Post
Well, he doesn't care at all. The pic was taken a few months ago in Corso San Gottardo, a narrow street in the Southern part of Milano. He left that monstruosity abandoned for more than one hour. In the pic you can see the tram blocked there, but not all the other vehicles behind it. Lapo arrived and, under a deluge of insults, went away without saying a word. He is well known here to be 'mad'. A few years ago it was found half dead, stuffed with drugs, in the flat of a transexual. Being a nephew of the Avvocato, the family cannot send him away, but he is barely tolerated and only 'PR' or 'creative' roles are given to him. Years ago he invented the H2o company, which produced very expensive sportwear with the Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo brands: it failed in a short time.
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Nicely sums up the opinions of him that I have heard.
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