A post from my time writing for a high-end men’s bespoke company in 2014
The Maserati Quattroporte-Ermenegildo Zegna Limited Edition
At Badger & Welsh Bespoke, we adore Ermenegildo Zegna fabrics for custom-tailoring high-end suits, shirts, pants and ties. The world-renowned design house provides us and our clients with smooth silk fabrics and exquisite suits that seem to contour the wearers’ bodies with precise self-awareness.
Maserati, the Italian style authority of the motor-vehicle universe, apparently shares Badger and Welsh Bespoke’s state of mind as it has chosen Zegna to be its official designer for its limited edition, sixth-generation Maserati Quattroporte sedan. This collaborative project was first announced at the 2013 Frankfurt Motorshow and officially debuted this September at New York Fashion Week. As the final car model shows, the design process was significantly more involved than slapping one brand’s logo upon another’s product. Zegna and Maserati fully converged creative forces to create a luxury automobile equal parts Zegna and Maserati.
Like any Zegna suit, the Quattroporte-Limited Edition is all about details. The refined exterior boasts an exclusively-developed coating called “Platinum Silk,” a metallic-y, café au lait finish intentionally reminiscent of fluid silk fabric. This luxurious effect, however, is not achieved so much through the color choice as it is through the depth and texture. A layering of extra-fine aluminium pigments upon the paint lends the impression that the car’s exterior is really a satiny flowing weave of metal.
Perhaps more accurate a manifestation of the Zegna touch is the car’s interior. Crafted from specially-milled silk fabrics are the quilted seating, door panels, sunshades, and roof lining. The cabin is finished in warm colors–mocha and greige–with the seats and trim displaying a harmonious blend of classic and contemporary aesthetics. The seats combine ultra-fine grain leather with upholstery made from the same delicate, refined wool Zegna uses for suit-making. The trim of the interior, however, is made from open-pore walnut. As a finishing touch, the Ermenegildo Zegna Limited Edition comes with a spindle of spare Zegna silk among its 19 custom accessories, for the purpose of clean-up, you know, in case you ever spill something unsavory.
The owner’s kit comes stocked with 9 Zegna items, including a leather weekend bag, sunglasses and a silk scarf with the same chevron motif as the interior trim.
Front sunshades carry the fabric labels that read “Ermenegildo Zegna Exclusively for Maserati.”
On the flip side of the coin, like any Maserati, the Quattroporte-Ermenegildo Zegna Limited Edition does not simply rest on luxury and physical vanity. This is still an Italian sports car and even one who knows next to nothing about motor vehicles–yours truly, e.g.– knows that Italian cars don’t drive… they fly. This special-edition Quattroporte will not disappoint any aficionado of speed. The car is equipped with a twin-turbo V8 producing 523 horsepower and 524 pound feet of torque. It can achieve a 0-60 time of 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 191 mph. The car assuredly and safely accelerates free of any drama.
As with any high-end bespoke design, the Maserati Quattroporte-Ermenegildo Zegna Limited Edition arrives at a hefty price–$175,000 a unit. To be one of only 100 Quattroporte-Limited Edition owners in the world, however, does justify one’s bragging rights, explaining why 20 of these models have already been snatched up since the end of this September’s NYFW. Maserati has long prided itself on style in its brand distinction from its more conservative German competitors. With the artful help of Zegna, it has just raised the bar for not only style, but luxury, even higher in the sedan game.