Speed & Sprezzatura


Photograph courtesy of Forbes

Words by: Jared Paul Stern

Foppish Fiat heir Lapo Elkann – a DQ Man if ever we saw one –

is rapidly becoming a style icon for our times in much the way his grandfather Gianni Agnelli was in his day. You can see it in the suits with lapels as wide as the Thames, some custom made by Rubinacci of Napoli, others granddad’s gear re-worked; but even cooler in our eyes, you can see it in his fleet of bespoke automobiles, all of which have menswear flourishes in a variety of ways.

There’s his wicked little Fiat 500 Abarth done in a natty houndstooth check; a matte green Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 (Chrysler being part of Fiat); his camouflage (inside and out) Ferrari 458 Italia; a deep blue Ferrari California upholstered in distressed denim; and now his latest creation, a pinstripe Maserati Ghibli made to match some of the chalkstriped numbers in his extensive wardrobe. Lapo debuts the car in the upcoming issue of ForbesLife, due out June 29.The paint job is silver-gray and the interior is done in a fine black worsted wool pinstripe that any gent’s tailor would be, ahem, suitably proud of. As with his other recent personalization jobs it was done under the auspices of Garage Italia Customs, yet another offshoot of his burgeoning Italia Independent fashion line that began with a single pair of sunglasses and now features a range of items including new collaborations with Gucci and Hublot.

“A prime motivation for me is love—and I love cars.”

“A prime motivation for me is love—and I love cars,” he tells Forbes. “Automotive for me is love. So is design. I love shaping cars. I love to see cars from birth. I love it when they come to market–small, big or huge. I have a real passion working with the designers and mechanics. I’ve helped Ferrari to create the process of tailoring and the one-offs, but the reality is, in a big family company you don’t always get to do what you want. There are other people in those positions. With the great respect that I have for the Agnelli family and for the Elkann family, I created Lapo, and this is Lapo’s world.” You said it son….


Words by Jared Paul Stern