August 30 2014

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9 posts tagged "Lapo Elkann"

All Camo Everything for Lapo Elkann


Italia Independent Camo Shades

Italian entrepreneur Lapo Elkann is a fixture on best-dressed lists and an avid collector of contemporary art, so it only makes sense that the jet-setting Fiat heir, and cofounder of eyewear and lifestyle brand Italia Independent, would be making the rounds (along with, seemingly, everyone who’s anyone) during Art Basel Miami Beach this week. Tonight, Elkann and his crew will host the opening of MAPS: Wall to Wall in the Wynwood District, where he will debut a new capsule collection of Italia Independent alongside photographer Kristian Schmidt’s exhibition, Whale Shark Series (think: underwater snapshots of models swimming with the mammoth fish).

The corresponding limited-edition shades feature both camouflage frames and mirrored camouflage lenses (only visible from the outside). Elkann is a longtime fan of the military-inspired pattern. “I have already used it on many of my bespoke cars and bikes—specifically, a Ferrari 458, a Chrysler Jeep, a Fiat 500, and a Vespa,” he told “I’m proud to say I have always used camo in areas where no one has before, and Italia Independent is the first to integrate camo into the lenses.”

Italia Independent’s Full Camouflage Capsule Collection (from $237) will be available in January at

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Del Toro and Italia Independent Paint the Town Blue



At Art Basel Miami Beach, fashion collaborations are no doubt becoming a mainstay. So far, we’ve seen a slew of designers tapped for a one-off project between the retailers Alchemist and Colette, and Eddie Borgo has announced a forthcoming capsule collection for Laure Heriard Dubreuil’s The Webster.

All that’s well and good, but we hadn’t seen anything for Basel’s fashion-forward gents, until today. Del Toro—the Wynwood, Miami-based company known primarily for its velvet slippers—has partnered with Lapo Elkann’s eyewear label, Italia Independent. Together, they’ll introduce exclusive pairs of suede and velvet cobalt-and-navy sunglasses and chukkas come fair time.

“The cobalt palette resonated especially, because it evoked my childhood in Italy, watching Gli Azzurri—Italy’s national football team,” said Matthew Chevallard, Del Toro’s founder and creative director. The sunnies are your standard Wayfarer shape, and the kicks—which are lent a Made in Italy charm, thanks to heel tabs printed with the country’s flag—blend Chevallard’s color of choice with dark blue accents. Considering Del Toro x Italia Independent drops on December 2, fairgoers will have plenty of time to pick up a pair of either—or both—before they start show-hopping.

Del Toro x Italia Independent will be available from December 2 at Del Toro’s Miami Beach pop-up, located at 2000 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, as well as at the Del Toro Boutique at 2750 NW 3rd Avenue, Suite 22, Miami. The range will also be available at Italia Independent boutiques in Italy.

Photo: Courtesy photo

Seven Suggestions For Improving Milan Fashion Week


Gildo Zegna, Patrizio Bertelli, Cav. Mario Boselli, and Diego Della Valle during the Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana press conference in Milan

At 8 a.m. on Sunday morning, the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana held a press conference at which attendance had been all but mandated weeks in advance. The early, un-Italian hour was no doubt meant to indicate the seriousness of the occasion, as was a lineup of speakers that included Patrizio Bertelli, Diego Della Valle, and Gildo Zegna, all of whom have joined the organization’s new board. Essentially, these captains of one of Italy’s most important and cherished industries have banded together to reinvigorate Milan’s increasingly hidebound fashion weeks. “I’ve heard the word boring,” Zegna acknowledged, though he insisted that wasn’t the case. The speeches were heavy on sweeping statements and light on concrete details, which provoked the assembly of sleep-deprived journalists into a volley of probing questions. Bertelli had earlier compared his fellow board members to “senators of fashion,” and he might have been thinking, Et tu, Suzy? as the International New York Times‘ Suzy Menkes led a round of interrogation into everything from Milan’s inhospitality to young designers to its perceived shortcomings on the digital front. Bertelli is no pushover, and he gave as good as he got. When a French journalist asked why we were only hearing from old men (Angela Missoni was a mostly silent presence on the board today), the Prada CEO told him he’d be a dangerous old man himself if he didn’t change his attitude, and then unexpectedly pointed out that Italy was the first country to abolish slavery, in the 1300s. By the end, one attendee was muttering, “Business as usual,” but if the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, then today’s announcement should be welcomed as a positive development. Certainly there is enough firepower and entrepreneurial know-how on this new board to solve world peace, let alone bring new energy to a fashion week. Zegna stressed that the process would be a dialogue and said suggestions would be encouraged. In that spirit, here are seven modest proposals for improving Milan fashion week.

1. Lure young, international designers to Milan.
Menkes wondered how Milan would be replacing Burberry and Alexander McQueen, two brands that have recently decamped back to their native London. But the city’s relatively uncrowded schedule could be one of its biggest assets. Given how ridiculously packed the New York and, increasingly, London and Paris schedules have become, you would think any number of hot young brands could be persuaded to believe that they’d have a better chance of standing out in Milan. If access to Italy’s unparalleled production expertise were thrown in as part of the deal, who could resist?

2. Take the show on the road.
The British Fashion Council and, to some extent, the U.S.-based CFDA have done a good job of promoting their designers abroad. As part of the London Showrooms events, a dozen young U.K. talents have even careened around Hong Kong together on a bus. While there are barely enough young Milan-based designers to fill a Smart car let alone a minibus, and its more established designers are already well known internationally, it shouldn’t be too hard to come up with the right kind of touring exhibition. Picture a mix of up-and-comers such as Umit Benan, Andrea Pompilio, and Fausto Puglisi; some cult brands like MP Massimo Piombo and Aspesi; and a couple of designer offshoots like Versace’s Versus line and Lapo Elkann’s highly covetable new made-to-measure collaboration with Gucci—all introduced by a charming, high-profile figure (yes, we’re talking to you, Lapo). That would go some way to showing the rest of the world the extent of Italy’s ambitions. Continue Reading “Seven Suggestions For Improving Milan Fashion Week” »

Linda Evangelista For Chanel, Lapo Elkann Unveils The Fiat 500 By Gucci Car, And More…


Linda Evangelista is the star of Chanel’s new eyewear campaign. The images, lensed by Karl Lagerfeld, feature Evangelista sporting a slicked-back ‘do and wearing black and white graphic prints. [Fashion Gone Rogue]

Italian financier and playboy Lapo Elkann was in Beijing this week to launch the Fiat 500 by Gucci car he helped design. The limited-edition ride, complete with the Gucci red and green band, is selling for $42,641. [WWD]

Vivienne Westwood has designed a line in celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee. The Red Carpet Capsule Collection, as it’s called, includes cocktail dresses, gowns, and jewelry, and it hits stores in May. [Grazia Daily]

Dior fêted its newly renovated Tokyo Ginza flagship shop last night, along with its traveling Lady Dior As Seen By exhibition (open through May 20). Neither the brand’s interim designer, Bill Gaytten, nor recently named creative director Raf Simons made it out for the event because they are hard at work on the house’s upcoming collections. [WWD]

Photo: Karl Lagerfeld

What Would Lapo Do?


I’ve just joined the ranks of the Ferraristi, me, who’s never been behind the wheel of a car. But after 48 hours in Maranello, the northern Italian town that is Ferrari’s nerve center, all I want for Christmas is an FF four-seater. It looks chic in a pearlized off-white, a shade called Ingrid after Ingrid Bergman, whose lover Roberto Rossellini gifted her a Ferrari in that color as a wedding present. (The actress, who didn’t drive, was unamused. “Oh, just what you wanted,” she snapped—or a four-letter variant to that effect.) Though maybe I’d rather have the California model, in a rich matte blue like Lapo Elkann’s. His has a denim interior. I prefer something in Hermès orange.

Anyway, whatever I want I can get, courtesy of Tailor Made, the new initiative that style arbiter Lapo is spearheading. It’s the haute couture of car customization, a sky’s-the-limit opportunity for Ferrari customers to turn their wheels from a mere extension of their personality into an objet d’art that is the very mirror of their souls. Which conjures up delightful visions of freeways full of wild and wacky racers, 21st-century counterparts to John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls-Royce from 1967 (it sold at auction in 1985 for $2.2 million, which is a mere bagatelle compared to the $16 mil snared by a vintage Ferrari last year). Dream on. “We don’t want to be in the prison of the past,” declares Luca di Montezemolo, the company’s urbane but steely CEO, but there is, after all, the bella figura of one of the world’s great brands to protect. Maybe that won’t pose such a challenge while the Ferraristi still seem so innately respectful of tradition. More than a third of the 7,000 cars Ferrari produces annually are ordered in the company’s signature racing red (even though red actually used to account for 80 percent of orders, and customers in those all-important emerging markets are increasingly turning to white). In the Maranello compound’s working museum, where old Ferraris come to be resuscitated, there are, however, a couple of models from the early seventies that have been specced inside and out for a new client in dubious shades of pink. Very tellingly, that just looks terribly wrong. So, with this new program, di Montezemolo will have the last word on just how tailored the make actually is.

Still, it’s tempting to imagine that the tone of Tailor Made will be set by Lapo Elkann, the 34-year-old Fiat scion whose life and style have been shaped by easy access to the best—and the worst—that all the money in the world can buy. His own aesthetic has been celebrated in every best-dressed and most-stylish list there is, but what gives his style its allure is its exaggerated, almost twisted edge. The twist can be as subtle as the heavy linen that Lapo’s Prince of Wales checked suit is cut from, or as out-there as the camo that patterns his other Ferrari. (And what other captain of industry sports a bright blue Toy Watch?) So while you consider these choices for your interior (Kevlar or cashmere? Pinstripes or paisley? Rubber or Madagascan crocodile?), entertain yourself by wondering What Lapo Would Do. The two years you have to wait for your car should give you plenty of time to second-guess your decisions. And it’ll give me more than enough time to get a driver’s license.

Photo: Courtesy of Ferrari