Enrico Dal Buono
Internationally renowned industrial designer Marc Newson teamed up (once again) with Ferrari to create an exclusive set of luggage to accompany discerning Prancing Horse clients on their worldly travels
In a January 2012 profile, the New York Times called Australian designer Marc Newson “arguably the most influential industrial designer of his generation and the leading exponent of the so-called design-art movement". So it should come as no surprise that Newson and Ferrari have worked together: in 2018 he collaborated with Maranello on a book project, the ‘Ferrari Art & Collector’s Edition’, published by Taschen, tracing the history of the company, accompanied in its premium version by an aluminium stand designed by Newson.
The two are once again working together, this time on a line of luggage, to be produced by Italy’s Schedoni, who have been making made-to-measure suitcases for Maranello’s cars for the better part of 50 years. Six products – trolley, duffel bag, garment bag, suitcase and quarantottore (a special business briefcase with space for a change of clothes and overnight necessities) – available in the array of main Ferrari interior colours, plus a chromatic ‘bonus track’: vinaccia, a pomace colour developed exclusively for this collection. With Maranello’s luggage range, the Ferrari aesthetic becomes portable. The external leather pattern takes its cue from the cam covers of Ferrari engines, whilst the aluminium details are inspired by those of the cars themselves (and made by the same suppliers).
The trolley’s patented sliding mechanism for the roller handle was developed with Ferrari engineers, who were inspired by the technique used in the LaFerrari pedals. Every individual piece of the collection is unique, accompanied by a chassis number, just like the cars made by Ferrari. The means of transportation for humans, in other words, is transformed into a means of transporting clothes, personal objects and documents. “A fairly natural transformation, in my opinion”, observes the 55-year old Sydney-born designer. “I’ve always seen Ferrari cars – with their combination of iconic appeal, purity and performance – first and foremost as beautiful objects, then as vehicles”, remarks Newson, himself the owner of a Ferrari 857S from 1955.
A Ferrari car is easily recognisable from at least 100 metres away, and for the designer this is one of the Maranello marque’s most precious qualities. “The challenge, within the necessary proportions, was to achieve the same result with the suitcases”, he says. “The advantage is that, given the originality of the project, I was able to set the parameters from the very beginning. I don’t like ‘fixing’ existing products and luckily, in this case it was virgin territory with the shapes all to be decided”.
There were, however, some practical problems that needed to be overcome. “For example, the suitcases were designed to fit in the boot of a Ferrari much like oysters fit in their shells”, Newson explains. “For every Maranello model there is a corresponding luggage set: each one is a Ferrari passe-partout”. For inspiration, Newson didn’t have to look far: the Ferrari lining pattern - lithe and sinuous - was inspired by the gentle hills of Emilia-Romagna and the historical designs of the brand, whilst the suitcases’ interior yellow colour matches the building tradition found in the city of Modena. “But these suitcases – exactly like the cars they are developed for – are not imagined to be exclusively Italian. They are international objects, universal, for citizens of the world”.
The six products will be available through each car’s personalisation catalogue. Newson views each client in their entirety. “The suitcases are not conceived only to be matched to the cars: they have to be able to accompany the buyer on every journey – whether by car, plane, boat or helicopter”, he explains. “It is very likely that the Ferrari client is a traveller”. A traveller for whom travelling isn’t merely moving from ‘point A’ to ‘point B’, but is itself one of life’s pleasures.