By on October 7, 2008

I was stumbling around the Milan airport after a red-eye flight last January when I came upon a Ferrari store. I have absolutely no idea what kind of sales a store like this might rack up (or really, not rack up). Even the insanely wealthy would no doubt feel strange about wearing a $58 Ferrari t-shirt if they didn’t actually own a Ferrari. If I bought one, I’d just feel like a … well the word I’m thinking of rhymes with “bouchebag.” The rest of the merchandise, from $600 parkas to $250 silk ties was equally stupidpriced. The best explanation I can think of for the store is to keep the Ferrari brand nestled among other exotic luxury brands. But all in all, I have to say it makes my head hurt. The exception to me would be any type of event-oriented clothing (i.e. Ferrari day at the beach 2003) or something commemorative (a picture of a Ferrari 250 California, in which case you’d look like a dork rather than a poseur).

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23 Comments on “Daily Podcast Lieberman Edition: Who Buys Ferrari Sweatshirts?...”


  • avatar
    Robstar

    I wear Ferrari stuff because I follow the F1 Ferrari team. I am a big Felipe Massa fan.

    This question is like asking “Who wears Cubs shirts & hats?”

    The problem is F1 pisses on North America. I can’t name a SINGLE north american driver off the top of my head. They pulled the indy race this year, and they pulled the canada race for next year! It is getting harder & harder to actually attend a race for North Americans without spending a metric buttload of money. I think the closest race right now is London. Can you do a weekend + airfare in london for 2, for $2k ? I kind of doubt it.

    Edit: I just looked at orbitz & the cheapest hotel+airfare for 2 people to london right now, 1 month out, is $3800 and we are past labor day already. Add in $300+ per ticket and food and you are nearing 5G’s….for….4-5 hours of entertainment?

  • avatar
    Casual Observer

    This stuff ends up selling at TJ Maxx for $8.99.

  • avatar
    Airhen

    If you actually own one, then wear it with pride. All others are posers.

  • avatar
    Happy_Endings

    I bought a Ferrari hooded sweatshirt at the 2001 USGP for $60. It was f’n cold that morning.

  • avatar
    Mark Morrison

    My understanding is that Ferrari merchandise is a huge business but is a totally different demo / psycho graphic to the car business. Ferrari refers to people who buy there cars as clients and those who buy there t-shirts as customers.

    I’ve marveled at the same shop in the airport in Milano. Good way to pass the time but wouldn’t be seen dead in the gear. The cars…well that’s another story!

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    Alright, I actually hadn’t considered the Ferrari motorsports angle. That makes a ton of sense to me (i.e. cheering for them in F1, being cold at the race). It also imparts authenticity, the usual lack of which is at the root of my complaint about the gear.

  • avatar
    highrpm

    The difference here is that people tend to associate the Ferrari name with overcompensation or posers.

    The sports fans get to wear their outfits. The Harley guys get to wear the leathers.

    I don’t think the world would automatically assume that I own a Ferrari if I buy an “authentic” Ferrari sweatshirt on Ebay for $8.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    My girl has a very nice red Ferrari hoodie that her best friend picked up for 4 Euros in Rome.

  • avatar
    Cicero

    When I hire some illegal aliens at Home Depot for a day’s work cleaning stuff, I look for the ones wearing the Ferrari logo wear. They’re fastest.

  • avatar
    akitadog

    Robstar,

    I think that the Brazilian Grand Prix is the closest one to us for now, and I’m sure would be far cheaper to get to and attend than in the UK.

    That gives me an idea…

  • avatar
    Samir

    I own two Ferraris. They both fit on top of my dresser, though. My mom being Italian, it’s treachery to root for any other F1 team (especially McLaren).

    But T-shirts, I think, are for Ginos in Hondas.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    Akitadog>

    My wife is brazillian, and I can tell you to get there from my city (Chicago) is about the same as london, and not really cheaper (except for the fact I have family there). From NY it’s 10 hours in the air, I think 8+ from Chicago.

    We are looking at tickets to go on vacation in december and we are seeing about $3k or so.

  • avatar
    Cavendel

    Jonny Lieberman :
    My girl has a very nice red Ferrari hoodie that her best friend picked up for 4 Euros in Rome.

    Girls, especially the good looking ones, can wear anything and get away with it.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    I don’t know why anyone would pay to advertise anything in which they have no financial interest.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    As per your Podcast question, Justin.

    Yes.

    The early “narrow-bodies” are the best, real 911s.

    They were light. Air cooled! And not electro-nannied anythinged. Just you in uber-light, point-and-shoot, rear-engined perfection.

    Even the be-bumpered late 70s SCs and 80s Carreras you reference offer a similar experience (though not quite as good) as a late 60s, early 70s 911.

    Try. You will like. And if Jonny can get you seat time in the RS, you will not be the same again. Everything else will feel remote, fat, un-quick in comparison.

    As for the entry-level Porsche…

    The 914 didn’t kill the “brand.” (Everyone said it would.)

    It wasn’t a horrible car, either. Properly sorted, it was quick, light, pointable (it’s been years since I been behind a 914’s wheel, but I loooooved driving it).

    If Porsche comes out with another mid-engine, sub 40k entry level coupe, it’ll sell. And I’d like mine in graphite metallic.

    And you haven’t driven a 928 either? C’mon, Justin! Imagine a late-model Corvette with a real, German interior. Totally composed at speed, and much lighter through the corners than you’d imagine.

  • avatar
    Michael Ayoub

    Wow, Justin, I might have been at that store at the same time. When during January?

    I was coming back from Egypt.

  • avatar
    Redbarchetta

    Wish I could afford the real thing and I would get a few Ferrari T-shirts to go with it. I used to refer to my Alfa Spider as a poor mans Ferrari, it wasn’t but at least it made me feel special.

    Justin you should really get some seat time in these cars before you start bashing them, especially in the position you are in.
    914’s are awesome handling cars even with almost no horsepower. It truely feels like a go cart and goes where ever you point it. The driving experience is a little more raw then I am used to but the handling is out of this world. My brother has a perfect 1971or2 that has been his little baby for the past several years. He is thinking about selling it if he doesn’t start that Subaru turbo engine conversion he has been talking about for a few years(it’s just to slow for the highways out west, so he tells me). So if anyone is interested in a perfect example with no rust let me know.

    The 928 was another great Porsche, I think it just stomped on the 911’s toes to much pissing off the die hards. Unfortunately my uncle who had one was a pussy with an auto, he kind of drove like one too. The back seats weren’t that bad either, me and my cousin fit in them just fine.
    I really hope they come out with another one that captures the old 928s feel and isn’t an over nannied electro gizmo. And please don’t make it ugly like the Panamerica.

  • avatar
    N85523

    Here’s an example of a production flat-eight.

  • avatar
    davey49

    Ferrari likely makes much more money selling T-shirts, toy race cars, and other junk than selling cars. Someone in the know should look up how much the Ferrari license is worth.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    @Red Barchetta, Domestic Hearse:

    Did I say I’d never driven an old 911, 928, or 914? Eek! Not true, fortunately.

    Well, mostly not true. I’ve driven the 911 plenty, just wanted to know Jonny’s opinion on the “purity” since he’s more of a Porsche guy and I’m erm, not. The 928 I absolutely love. Would love to own one at one point.

    As for the 914, that’s where I’ve got about 10 minutes of seat time. The car was not well sorted, I was at the time very bad at driving stick (now you know how many years ago we’re talking), and my memory has faded. But it ain’t good stuff about the 914 that I do remember.

  • avatar

    I have a Mercedes cap and a Mercedes polo shirt. I did restore an old MB with my father, but I only wear the gear one week of the year – Montreal Grand Prix weekend. And now that’s gone (insert string of hyperbolic expletives here).

    That being said I do wear Ducati gear on a regular basis. I own a Ducati, I work on Ducatis, and I’m president of the Ducati Owner’s Club in Montreal. I figure that entitles me to be a sort of brand-ambassador and I dress accordingly.

  • avatar
    GiddyHitch

    I think that you’re a “bouchebag” if you wear the Ferrari gear without owning one, but an even bigger bouchebag if you wear the Ferrari gear because you do own one. It’s a d-bag conundrum to be sure. This rule only applies to exotics/supercars and people who wear more than one piece of gear at a given time. Everyone else is just a fanboy.

  • avatar
    hal

    I have a very nice Martini Racing/Porsche shirt which I bought because I have very happy memories of watching rally and sports cars racing in those colours when I was a kid. Am I a “douche”? Probably, but I couldn’t care less what the NASCAR belogoed knuckledraggers think nevermind anyone else who uses the word “douche”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Delta_gruppo_A.jpg

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