Ferrari and Giorgi Armani have announced a luxury tie-up to combine their engineering and sartorial expertise in premium clothing and accessories.
The partnership is part of a project to build the Ferrari brand into a luxury marque that stretches beyond automotive enthusiasts, an ambitious goal first introduced by the car maker’s late chairman Sergio Marchionne.
Now under the stewardship of chief executive Louis Camilleri, the partnership with Armani fits neatly into a three-pillar approach to licensing and brand extension. The aim is to make 10 per cent of Ferrari’s earnings from fashion and apparel, luxury services, and entertainment within the next decade.
Louis says that the plan is “not just about profit”, but a long-term project focused on revitalising Ferrari’s black horse logo and “enhancing out brand equity and the vitality and vibrancy of the brand”.
New relationships with other luxury houses will form part of this, but Ferarri will also shed licensing partners that have stretched the brand too thin and are “diluting our very precious brand equity”, according to Louis.
Ferrari plans to cut its licensing agreements in half over the coming years and pull out of nearly a third of the categories it operates in.
Ferrari also announced the appointment of Rocco Iannone as its new Brand Diversification Creative Director. Previously Head Men’s Designer at Giorgio Armani and designer at Dolce & Gabbana, he will oversee the creative content, design and image of all of Ferrari’s own and licenced apparel and accessories collections.
Armani is taking a similar approach by cutting back its licensing agreements in mid-range department stores and other volume-based partnerships to reclaim the aspirational value of its brand. Sub brands such as Armani Exchange, aimed at the mass market, have been brought back in house.
The market for luxury goods continues to grow on the back of burgeoning middle classes in growth markets across Asia, while at the same time consolidating under a diminishing number of gilded banners. LVMH, one of the world’s biggest players in upmarket goods, has expanded its interests in fashion and wines and spirits to tackle the worlds of jewellery, cosmetics, perfume, retail and beyond. It is currently in the process of buying Tiffany & Co. in a deal that stands at $14.5 billion, though the deal is yet to close.