Lapo Elkann talks Hublot and Italia Independent: “The world of personalization is true luxury.”

Baselworld is all about time and luxury. And it was about time we caught up with one of the luxury industry’s most eccentric and fashionable figures, Lapo Elkann, at one of the watch industry’s most different and unique names, Hublot. With the second year of Hublot and Italia Independent’s collaboration underway, the watch brand has launched a new Big Bang Italia Independent collection, in partnership with the creative design brand.

What did Lapo have to say about himself, his company’s collaboration with Hublot and the new watch collection?

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“I am an entrepreneur first of all.”

Lapo defines himself as an entrepreneur before anything else. Having also had the privilege of being a creator, he has been blessed with the right circumstances to create great opportunities through the companies he founded with passion: Italia Independent, Independent Ideas, Garage Italia Customs and Good Films. That is how the amazing partnership with Hublot started; a passion for life, an inclination towards innovation and creativity, and the capacity to make “the impossible possible”… Values and characteristics shared by Jean-Claude Biver and Lapo Elkann as individuals, as well as Hublot and Italia Independent as companies. It is this partnership with Hublot, which Elkann describes as “an immediately synergetic and disruptive combination towards the watch and the eyewear industry”, that both Lapo and Italia Independent are “the most proud of”.

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“We are urban peace lovers.”

Hublot and Italia Independent have taken tradition and innovation further on the 2016 watches by incorporating camouflage patterns in the Texalium, with colour variations of green, blue and black, and even used chino, gold, PVD and flat lenses for some of the watch parts. As the fashion oriented entrepreneur explains, camouflage makes for “a unique, sexy and interesting pattern,” and he finds the use of camouflage and Texalium together on the watch and glasses to be a great combo. He highlights that the thought behind the camouflage pattern is a “pro-peace” stance, an “urban peace lovers” state of mind.

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The Camouflage Campaign

The Big Bang Italia Independent collection advertising campaign has a strong camouflage mood to it. One of the campaign pictures was shot on Lapo’s camouflage pixellated-blue motorboat, another in his green camo Ferrari. “We didn’t have a black jet fighter sadly,” he jokes, hoping to find one for the next campaign. Camo ferrari also used in the campaign. The 458 Italia used in for the shoot has peace logos on its right and left sides, which was exactly what the two brands were looking to convey in their communication: “Disruptiveness and being urban peace-lovers in the worlds of Hublot and Italia Independent.”

Lapo Elkann wearing the watch and the sunglasses

“We want to create and sell dreams.”

Hublot and Italia Independent don’t want to just talk about dreams; they want to create and sell dreams, offering consumers worldwide the opportunity to lead their lifestyle with joy, glamour and style.

“We have a long, long, long, long book to write.”

When asked about the potential and future plans of the collaboration, Elkann confirms that his personal relationship with Hublot Chairman Jean-Claude Biver, as well as Italia Independent’s with Hublot, are “stronger than ever”. Doing more and better is definitely a main goal all parties want to achieve, especially as they have the possibility to generate growth for each other. Being disruptive while staying true to each brand’s DNA -tradition and innovation- is also a pillar that strengthens the collaboration which he feels will persevere in time.

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“Either we make a difference or we don’t do it.”

Going up close and personal with the man, we discover Lapo’s love for accessories that he thinks are “fun to play with”. “They give the energy, hype and vibe to how you’re dressed,” he says, adding: “I love my shades because they make me look better and I don’t want to be covered by an ugly frame.” No worries there Lapo, Italia Independent glasses -no matter how unusual or quirky some might be- are definitely cool!

The New York-born Italian likes watches, and his preference goes to his Hublot Italia Independent and a few vintage watches he collected in the past. His second and third favorite Hublot watches are LaFerrari and of course, the Juventus, his favorite football team’s watch.

He finds watches to be intriguing and the industry to be mysterious, which is why he immediately accepted Biver’s collaboration proposal, especially since Hublot is “the most unconventional watch brand in the industry”.

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“The world of personalization and customization is true luxury.”

Thanks to Hublot’s ingenious ‘One-Click’ system, Lapo changes the straps of his watch by choosing the one he feels like wearing to suit his mood or the occasion. He has believed for some time that “The future of luxury is customization and personalization,” which is why he has been personalizing his time, life, food, shoes, watches, glasses and computer for ten years now, and is happy to see that brands are understanding that more nowadays.

His advice is for companies to cherish the consumer like he does. “I want a relationship that lasts for long with my consumers.” 

We are pretty confident both the Hublot and Italia Independent crowds will only grow bigger with a big bang!