Setting out to sell more than sports cars, Ferrari tapped Sybarite to create a fashion retail environment at its Italian HQ.

Key features 

Part of a larger effort by Ferrari to diversify its offering beyond sports cars, the Ferrari lifestyle store is located at the automobile marque’s headquarters in Maranello, Italy. Sybarite was invited to conceptualize and design a retail environment that would showcase the brand’s new direction for fashion under creative director Rocco Iannone (which launched with a runway show at the venue on 13 June), while accommodating other retail products and collaborations. ‘Our task was to evoke the passion, sense of place and nostalgia around the brand – but in a highly contemporary way,’ says Adrian Condina, lead designer on the project. 

Sybarite selected a reduced palette of core materials: terracotta, glass and clay bricks, whose configuration will be customized for each new Ferrari store. The incorporation of terracotta is a tribute to its prevalence in Italian construction from the Roman empire through to today. Glass – chosen for its malleability and variability – cuts through the Maranello store as a red ribbon, recalling one of Ferrari’s key colours and echoing the bends in the Fiorano Circuit, a private racetrack owned by Ferrari for R&D purposes. The use of white clay bricks is a nod to the early stages of Ferrari development, when cars are modelled from clay before finding their final metal forms. 

A system of flexible, moveable wooden fins helps to make the sales area as adaptable as possible. Shelves and rails can be added to the structures for displaying merchandise, or the entire system can be shifted for events. The fins, for example, can become a backdrop for a screen for broadcasting important races. 

Frame’s take 

‘[Ferrari is] a brand driven by loyalty,’ wrote Phil Rossi a few years ago for Art + Marketing. ‘When a buyer purchases their first Ferrari, they enter an exclusive club.’ Rossi wasn’t talking about physically entering an exclusive club, but that’s what the brand has created with this project. And not just with the retail space, where customers can pick up fashions for a fraction of the cost of a new car, but with such other additions as an atelier (also created by Sybarite) and the India Mahdavi-designed restaurant. A place for entertaining VIPs and press and for holding events, the lounge-like atelier is even entered via a tunnel, as if it’s an elusive – and exclusive – speakeasy. All this means Ferrari has cleverly given clients even more to discover so they’ll likely stay longer and forge a deeper connection with the brand – and no doubt that’s the ultimate goal.