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A legend for a legend

For the ad campaign of the new Ferrari fashion collection, creative director Rocco Iannone brought in master of fashion photography Paolo Roversi to shoot stories centred around the key Ferrari values of ‘Charisma’, ‘Passion’, and ‘Beauty’
Words: Paola Pollo - Photos: Paolo Roversi

This is a campaign that bears a prominent signature, that of Paolo Roversi, the undisputed master of fashion photography. Rocco Iannone, Ferrari Creative Director, wanted him – and he alone – to shoot his first important story of Ferrari fashion. 

And so it was: just like that – like magic – friends and artists were reunited on the set. It was instant connection. The result: a triptych of images to which the fashion designer manages to give a trio of titles: ‘Charisma’, ‘Passion’, ‘Beauty’. Which are, of course, the values of the Maranello marque. Roversi recognised them straight away. Because they are part of his own Emilian roots. 

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“I had never worked with them because the project started a few seasons ago,” says Roversi of his collaboration with Maranello. “But I like their work, it’s great work. And I was pleased that they sought me out.” The photographic maestro, flattered. It doesn’t happen often. 

Iannone steps forward to explain: “I chose to go into fashion because it was what I had wanted since childhood. There was nothing else for me. And among my heroes was Roversi.”

Brought in by Ferrari as Brand Diversification Creative Director in 2019, Iannone was charged with taking the brand into the world of fashion. “So as soon as the project took shape and we were ready for a major campaign, I had no doubts: Roversi was the photographer I wanted. And Roversi it was. Almost as if he were written into my history and into the history of Ferrari.”

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Who knows what the name Ferrari must have stirred in Roversi – who has lived in Paris for many years – when the call came asking him to be on the set of Maranello’s first major fashion shoot? “For us Italians, the name Ferrari is a legend. For me – being from Ravenna, which is in the same region – even more so,” the photographer explains. “The first time I went there I was a young person. We were a group of four friends and Enzo Ferrari – the Drake himself – received us in person, in his office. It was beautiful. He was legendary. Kind, friendly, elegant.” Decades later another “call” came from Maranello.

“Last summer I received an invitation and I went with three of my five children,” he says. “It was exciting – again. They took us everywhere, to every department. I discovered a world that I then found again on the set of the fashion shoot. When we came out of the factory there were lots of children waiting outside, hoping they might get a glance of a pilota or a Prancing Horse leaving through the gates. I was amazed at how that place keeps its spell intact. I reflected on how the myth hasn’t changed, from one generation to the next. Marvellous.” 

Mariacarla Boscono in the new advertising campaign shot by Roversi, here epitomising the Ferrari woman: a traveler and experimenter of the present who uses fashion as a tool to express herself and explore the border between masculine and feminine

And how did he interpret the Ferrari ‘score’ through his lens? “We put a nice red background to recall the legendary colours. No engine or fuel or steering wheel, no. We let the colour create the Ferrari flavour,” the photographer explains. “And then there are, suddenly, discreet details that bring you back to Maranello.” Like the actual gloves of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz – another idea of Iannone’s.

“And they are the original models. I literally stole them from the drivers,” the marque’s creative director admits.

Telling three fashion stories called for the ‘set up’ and ‘translation’ of the same number of shots: tailoring cross-pollinated with workwear, in military green; leather for a jumpsuit and a dress that comes from a jumpsuit; evening cocktail attire with garments embroidered with metallic elements.

“Charisma, passion and beauty,” Iannone entitles them. The Ferrari values.