As the evening progressed, the people around me increased in numbers, the ethereal gleam of the cars in the spotlight looked even more enchanting, a few more distinguished hands made an impression on Fabrizio’s digital Canon sensors and many more crumpled Venchi chocolate wrappers gathered on my table like resting butterflies. The evening was testimony to the masterful balance displayed by Maserati, in maintaining the art of exclusivity while seeking after the commercial paradigm of ubiquity.
Everything seemed perfectly poised to launch the Maserati Quattroporte Zegna limited edition. The only glitch during the exclusive event that hosted some of the coveted socialite company of the emirates was already out of our way, even before the start. The traffic and a couple of U-turns had made the wait for the Maserati courtesy car seem too long, if only because it was too long.
This was the third in a series of four celebratory events, after Shanghai and New York. The final launch is slated for later this year in Milan. For the Dubai event, Ermenegildo Zegna, CEO of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group, and Harald J. Wester, CEO of Maserati (the duo below) were joined by a few select hundreds of the cognoscenti. Guests included H.E. Giorgio Starace, Ambassador of Italy to the UAE, H.E. Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Director of Al Tayer Motors, and Khalid Al Tayer, Chief Executive Officer of Retail at Al Tayer Group.
Taking centre-stage of the event and lending meaning to the title – One of 100 – were two art performances. One was the stunningly haloed Maserati Quattroporte, produced in a limited run of 100 examples. The other, the dynamic talent of the world-renowned photographer Fabrizio Ferri, whose task was to capture the intrigue of a hundred magical hands, twenty five of them at this venue – belonging to craftsmen including a sculptor, a writer, a boxer and a surgeon.
The Maserati Quattroporte Zegna Limited Edition boasts a special finish in terms of colour, materials and trim, handpicked to reflect the prestige and heritage of the two Italian craftsmen of excellence. Specially created for this unique car, the challenge in developing the “Zegna” automotive fabric was in recreating the same sensuous feel as the brand’s traditional fabrics, enveloping passengers like designer suits. Maserati has recently confirmed the launch of a new Ermenegildo Zegna interior package, which will be available as an option for the Quattroporte and Ghibli from end of 2015.
The Limited edition car is complete with a dedicated Owner’s Collection designed by Ermenegildo Zegna and unique to each example in the hundred. Fine-grain calf leather and ZegnaSilk are among the fine material used in the creation of each element in the 19-piece collection, which includes travel bags (Weekender, Carry-all, Garment Bag, and Trolley) leather, textile and metal accessories as well as a bolt of the same ZegnaSilk herringbone fabric used in the interior of the car.
The event revealed more than the highlight of the evening – the Maserati Quattroporte Zegna Limited Edition gleaming in its exclusive Platinum Silk colour. It was at once redolent of the exclusivity of the Italian automotive icon and its growing popularity. I felt many of the people gathered there had something to do with art, had some quirk – at least a ponytail – and needless to say, were moneyed mavericks in their own right. (Talking about art, the event I attended the next day at the Madinat Jumeirah, Art Dubai, also had Maserati as one of the prime sponsors.) Yet, the numbers present were suggestive of a brand that was no longer confined to ‘maverick’ status and had more of the discerning elite getting involved in celebrating it on a daily basis. The Ghibli is largely to thank.
The images created at the events will be compiled to create the book ‘One of 100’, the sale proceeds of which will go towards supporting the restoration of the Fountain of Neptune, a monumental civic fountain located in the famed Piazza Nettuno in Bologna, Italy, and the inspiration for Maserati’s renowned Trident logo.