Luxury Labels Take Brand Extension Upscale | The Week Ahead, BoF Professional


  • Ferrari will hold its first-ever runway show on Sunday at the automaker’s Maranello, Italy factory
  • Though cars make up the vast majority of sales, Ferrari sees its future as a luxury lifestyle brand
  • The automaker’s owner, Exor, has built a portfolio of luxury fashion brands and is reportedly considering a tie-up with Armani (which says it’s not interested)
    Ferrari sells cars that cost more than most people’s homes. But even for those who can’t afford the latest 812 Superfast, the brand is synonymous with a certain high-octane lifestyle. Sunday’s event, heralding a reboot of the company’s fashion offerings, is designed to cement the idea of Ferrari as more than an automaker. It’s a milestone in a years-long effort by the company’s last two CEOs, the late Sergio Marchionne and Louis Camilleri, who spoke of Ferrari in terms that would be familiar to followers of Hermès or Louis Vuitton, and reined in licensing deals that stamped the company’s black-on-yellow horse logo on stationary and cheap cologne.

Ferrari’s new CEO, who starts Sept. 1, comes from the unglamorous world of semiconductors. But it would be a surprise if he fails to build on his predecessor’s work. Big luxury fashion brands have found enormous success in extending their brands, launching hotels, restaurants, home goods lines and other ways for superfans to immerse themselves in their chosen label’s world. Of course, for Ferrari to pull this pivot off, its non-car offerings must be desirable. For that, we’ll have to wait for Sunday’s fashion show.