Lapo Elkann has had the automotive industry and a great sense of fashion in his life since he was born. His grandfather was none other than Gianni Agnelli, the former head of Fiat and a man that influenced men’s fashion worldwide. With such a pedigree, Elkann has put his knowledge to work with his own Italian coachbuilder, Garage Italia Customs.
One of Garage Italia’s finest creations is their Alfa Romeo 4C Hokusai, a sports car that has been inspired by Japanese art and culture.
Hokusai’s exterior has a handpainted interpretation of “Kanagawa-oki nami ura,” also known as “The Great Wave off Kanagawa.” The name of Garage Italia 4C makes more sense knowing that the artist behind “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” was Hokusai, a ukiyo-e artist. This painting is undoubtedly Hokusai’s most famous work, and is also recognizable around the world. Being so influential, Garage Italia made a great decision to have their master painters recreate the work of art on their 4C Hokusai.
“The livery hence becomes a metaphor of the feelings the driver experiences behind the wheel of an Alfa Romeo with the technical characteristics and high-level performances of a 4C.”
– Garage Italia Customs
Inside, the cabin of the 4C Hokusai carries on the Japanese influence. Kurabo denim, regarded as one of the world’s finest denim, covers areas like the door panels, steering wheel, seat bolsters and dashboard.
Joining the famous denim is custom Foglizzo leather that was designed to mimic that of a khoi fish. Another incredible touch is Tsukamaki-style wrapping on the emergency brake level and top of the steering wheel. Tsukamkai is the art of wrapping a sword’s hilt, typically found on Japanese swords like the katana.
Each bit of customization that Garage Italia added to the 4C Hokusai was done with style, inspiration and craftsmanship, making it unlike any other 4C in the world. If you’re interested in viewing it for yourself, the 4C Hokusai can be seen at the Curated showroom in Miami, Florida.