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Tailor-Made for Each Other

  • Paul Noble

Zegna and Maserati have collaborated on a special-edition Quattroporte that showcases the best of both storied Italian brands. 

“Cars are not a suit of clothes; cars are an avatar,” said Chris Bangle, a former BMW design chief, during his TED talk in 2002. “Cars are an expansion of yourself: They take your thoughts, your ideas, your emotions, and they multiply [them].” But it is easy to disagree and argue that your clothes reflect your personality at least as much as your car does. 

Perhaps Bangle’s aversion to placing clothes and cars on an equal level exemplifies why creative collaborations between automobile and fashion brands are typically short-lived and fraught with complications: Fostering a true meeting of the minds between companies from these two ego-driven cultures can be a tremendous challenge. Yet it is possible, as evidenced by the partnership between the Italian automaker Maserati and the Italian fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna, which most recently has produced the Maserati Quattroporte Ermenegildo Zegna Limited Edition. (The brands’ previous collaboration involved the VOR 70 Maserati, a 70-foot carbon-fiber monohull racing yacht whose crew is outfitted in high-tech pieces by Zegna Sport. Zegna offered the VOR Maserati capsule collection of casual sportswear and sneakers at its stores this spring and summer.)  

Maserati, which is celebrating its centenary this year, and Zegna, which began as a textile mill in 1910 and produces all of its own fabrics, have adroitly changed with the times without straying from their roots. Zegna’s suits have for decades been a uniform of choice for power brokers and celebrities, who flock to its client-centric made-to-measure tailoring services. Last year, the brand showed its intentions of venturing into a wider market when it signed as its head of design Stefano Pilati, who was the head designer at Yves Saint Laurent. 

Likewise, Maserati is seeking to broaden its appeal and reach a more youthful-minded and upwardly mobile clientele by adding the midsize Ghibli sedan to its portfolio of cars. Maseratis once were reserved for film stars and playboys or—as in the case of Marcello Mastroianni, who was among the famous owners of the elegant Series I Quattroporte—films stars who were playboys. Mastroianni’s 1965 Quattroporte is among about 30 historic models included in Maserati 100: A Century of Pure Italian Luxury Sports Cars, an exhibit showing at the Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena, Italy, through the end of this year. 

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