May 11, 2016

Poltrona Frau and Ermenegildo Zegna Meet at Maserati

Maserati’s Levante SUV will launch in the U.S. late this summer.

For the luxury car manufacturer’s highly anticipated first SUV, Maserati called upon heavyweights from the interior and fashion design fields, adding them to an already prestigious roster of Italian talents. The Levante will feature Ermenegildo Zegna silk, while the sculpted mid-size Ghibli and full-size Quattroporte sedans feature a combination of the Zegna silk and Poltrona Frau leather. Any purchaser who opts for silk will receive Zegna’s—made by a patented process at the house’s wool mill in Trivero—as insert panels on the seats, door and roof panels, and sunshades.

The Levante, launching in the U.S. late this summer, will feature three different color combinations of leather and silk and contrast stitching in tan, red, or black. Similarly, the Ghibli and Quattroporte pair Zegna mulberry silk in anthracite with Poltrona Frau leather in black, natural, or red.

All three companies were founded in Northern Italy within five years of each other in the lead up to World War I. Maserati was created in Bologna in 1914, its trident logo based on the Fountain of Neptune in the city’s Piazza Maggiore. With roots in racing, it’s the only Italian manufacturer to ever win the Indianapolis 500 (in 1939 and 1940) before gaining more widespread popularity as the vehicle of choice of the Shah of Iran in the late ‘50’s and early ‘60’s.

Founded in nearby Turin in 1912, Poltrona Frau has since commissioned work from Interior Design Hall of Fame members Andrèe Putman, Paola Navone, Piero Lissoni, Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, and Peter Marino, who also designed 13 Zegna flagships. Poltrona Frau’s entrée into the automobile sector was in 1984 when its leather debuted in the Ferrari-powered Lancia Thema 8:32, marking the launch of the Frau Interiors in Motion division. As another overlap in design sectors, the company’s Nuwelle auditorium armchair happens to have been designed by automotive scion Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, creator of the first Porsche 911.

The company’s trident logo is based on the Fountain of Neptune in Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore.

Currently helmed by head of design Stefano Pilati, Ermenegildo Zegna originated in Trivero in 1910 and is already in it’s fourth generation of family ownership. In addition to manufacturing suits for Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Tom Ford, it produces its own labels, favored by Josh Brolin, Michael B. Smith, Matthew McConaughey, and noted Italophile George Clooney. Its move into automobile interiors occurred with Ferrari in 1981 and the Lancia Trevi Volumex in 1982, and it has lately transitioned into furniture, recently releasing the Baco stool, designed by Interior Design Hall of Fame member Patricia Urquiola.

Levante features a combination of the Zegna silk and Italian leather.

The exterior of the Levante SUV by Maserati.

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