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The future of Formula 1: Fashion alongside racing

How the major brands in F1 are widening their market horizons

The future of Formula 1: Fashion alongside racing How the major brands in F1 are widening their market horizons

Following the recent trend, typical of many companies, which want to refresh their image and go beyond their purely sporting dimension to land into unexplored market areas, Formula 1 brands mainly focused on fashion. It's becoming clearer and clearer that is possible, if not recommended, to take advantage of the sports - and motorsports in this case - brands' appeal to create a sort of microcosm that could offer the consumer the opportunity to get in touch with the brand through different paths.

The challenge that this kind of ambition brings along is to keep the brand identity safe. This danger, however, doesn't seem to have discouraged Ferrari in developing such projects. That's why almost one year ago, on Maranello's walkway, the first Ferrari collection made its debut. According to what has been said about looking for a balance in entering upon new areas, without changing the brand signature features, if it's true that Rocco Iannone, who worked as designer for Giorgio Armani and Dolce & Gabbana and was appointed Ferrari's Brand Diversification Creative Director, clearly stated that Ferrari isn't just a car company, it's also true that the dominant colours of the collection were red, genuinely recalling the brand, and yellow, background where the Cavallino stands up. Inspired by the same idea, the company's structure has been changed, aiming to improve results in Formula 1 and lay the ground for a future in the fashion lifestyle. Moreover, to further expand the Ferrari universe the Cavallino restaurant was opened in Maranello, under the direction of Chef Massimo Bottura.

With the same goal, Red Bull pursued innovation in the textile industry by combining fashion and technology, that’s how in 2016 AlphaTauri saw the light. The Austrian colossus created this label with the idea of developing a deeper partnership with Formula 1, initially with Scuderia AlphaTauri and more recently signing a contract which made it the official supplier for fashion clothing in Formula 1.

Mercedes, whose path of transformation and evolution of the brand in this sense has been going on for quite some time, can be seen as an all-rounder luxury brand, operating in fashion mostly through collaborations. In particular, the work started with Virgil Abloh, who designed a limited edition electric vehicle, was then carried on even after he passed away, by launching a brand new collection called "Project Maybach" as a result of the collaboration Mercedes-Maybach x Off White. Also in the field of athletics, the synergy with Puma, merging the experience in the sports footwear sector with the engineering skills of Mercedes AGM Petronas F1, led to the development of the Faster + program, aimed at the production of an elite range of products for athletes. The most emblematic result of this project is the creation of the Evospeed Tokyo Future Faster + and the Evospeed Tokyo Nitro Faster +, defined by Bjørn Gulden, CEO of PUMA, as the best athletic shoes ever made by the company.

The driving force of such collaborations will undoubtedly constitute the basis for the realization of this new strategic plan, resulting in the broadening of the range of producer-consumer relationships, according to the new schemes of globalization and industrial integration.