MARANELLO -- Ferrari aims to bring its Prancing Horse brand to the catwalk and fine dining in an attempt to woo wealthy customers beyond its faithful fans.
The company, renowned for its Formula One racing team and high-powered sports cars adorned with the Cavallino Rampante logo, is launching a fashion collection on Sunday and reopening a restaurant in its hometown of Maranello two days later.
The clothing line comes from creative director and former Armani designer Rocco Iannone while Michelin-starred Italian chef Massimo Bottura is relaunching the restaurant where founder Enzo Ferrari once dined with friends and Formula One stars.
Nicola Boari, Ferrari's chief brand diversification officer, told Reuters the aim was to reach new clients "in terms of both age and culture" - beyond its racing fans and sports-car clients who already covet its branded jackets, T-shirts and hats.
The customer base for Ferrari's cars is limited by design to under 10,000 vehicles a year - fewer clients than Bottura's new restaurant could serve in the same time - and the luxury automaker has said it hoped its so-called brand extension strategy would account for 10 percent of profits within a decade.
Ferrari is far from the first luxury car brand to venture into lifestyle businesses. Others such as Volkswagen Group's Lamborghini and Bentley, as well as U.S. motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson, have turned to clothing collections.
Ferrari's foray into haute cuisine too follows in the steps of luxury fashion groups, including France's LVMH and Kering's Gucci, which also turned to Bottura for its first restaurant in Florence and a second in Beverly Hills.
"Ferrari is one of the strongest brands in the world and definitely the strongest brand in the luxury industry," said Massimo Pizzo of Brand Finance, a brand valuation consultancy.
"It has the potential to succeed even in the luxury apparel industry," he said.