Japan meets Italy in one of a kind Ferrari

Riley Riley

What do you get when you cross Italian heritage with Japanese culture?

In this case a one-of-a-kind Ferrari Roma, crafted by Ferrari’s bespoke Tailor Made department.

The car features exquisite traditional Japanese-inspired detailing, but at the same time retains the clean, sophisticated elegance of the original car.

Ferrari Tailor Made is an exclusive program for those who wish to customise each element of their Ferrari to create a vehicle that truly reflects their personality and tastes.

Customers who participate in the program are assisted by a team of experts led by a personal designer that interprets their desires while “upholding” the aesthetic standards of the brand.

This particular car’s story began when Evan Orensten and Josh Rubin, founders of the award-winning US publication Cool Hunting were offered and accepted the opportunity to customise a Ferrari Roma.

The idea was to push the boundaries, to explore just how far Ferrari’s bespoke personalisation program could go.

The pair had just returned from Japan where they had immersed themselves in the country’s traditional crafts and artisanal methods.

They proposed the creation of a Ferrari that featured unique materials developed from traditional Japanese techniques, while Ferrari modified them to accommodate the demands of a modern high-performance car.

Traditional Japanese indigo dyes inspired the Roma’s colour scheme, particularly the vivid blue exterior paint named Indigo Metal which was specially developed for this car.

The vivid colour enhances the purity of the Roma’s shape, with light that appears to flow over its bodywork, accentuating its lines through highlights and shade.

Indigo features prominently in Japanese design culture and the traditional dye is produced naturally.

The colour is also found in the sakiori fabric used for the seat trim inserts and carpets.

Sakiori is one of the world’s oldest examples of upcycling, dating from the 1700s when worn-out kimonos were taken apart, their fabric cut into strands and rewoven with new fibres to create a material that was both warm, comfortable and durable.

Two vintage kimonos were used for the project, an indigo-dyed kimono about 75 years old and another one about 45 years old, dyed in both indigo and celebrated Amami Oshima Tsumugi mud-based dye.

Instead of weaving the kimono strands with cotton or silk as is traditional, it was woven with high-tensile nylon, ensuring the durability required of this material in its application inside the vehicle.

The indigo theme is carried through to the Roma’s headlining, comprised of two indigo-dyed hides made with Asai Roektsu in Kyoto — one with a unique solid colour crafted to match the car’s colour scheme, along with hand-painted hide using the Roketsu method which can be traced back to the 8th century.

Roma’s interior door handles also take their inspiration from Japan, enclosed in tightly hand-woven strips of black leather in an homage to tsukami, the ancient art of wrapping the grips of Katana swords.

The team was also inspired by a visit to Kaikado, a Kyoto-based family business known for its iconic copper tea canisters.

Copper plating is found in details of the gear shift gate surround and levers which were plated in Japan.

The outline of the dual cockpits, the wheel rims and the kamon are also in this colour.

The unique crest on the dedication plate on the central armrest and door sills is a custom-made kamon, a symbol passed down from generation to generation in Japan.

Designed by Kyogen, it represents a wheel from an ox-drawn carriage (popular transportation among aristocrats during the Heian period, 794-1185) combined with the eight pistons of Roma’s V8 engine that form spokes.

The numeric theme is continued in the eight wave crests that encircle the wheel – symbols of good luck, power and resilience.

The Tailor Made Ferrari Roma will be displayed in the Ferrari Tailor Made Showroom during the New York Design Week (NYC X DESIGN).


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