• London


    7 - 28 February 2014


ROBILANT+VOENA is pleased to announce the launch of ‘The Italian’, a publication by Wayne Maser and Glenn O’Brien featuring Lapo Elkann and published by Skira.


Press release

Lapo Elkann is an entrepreneur and designer. He is the former Marketing Director of Fiat. His company Italia Independent
specializes in eyewear, apparel and accessories. He is known for his great personal style and is a perennial on best dressed
lists, including Vanity Fair’s Best Dressed Hall of Fame. He recently collaborated with Gucci on a made -to-measure
Glenn O’Brien is a prolific writer and editor whose books include the best selling How to Be a Man. He is a contributor to
GQ, and many other international magazines. O’Brien wrote and produced the film Downtown 81, and he has created
advertising for clients such as Barneys, Calvin Klein, Dior and Dolce & Gabbana.
‘The Italian’ was inspired by Philippe Halsman’s ‘The Frenchman’, a Photographic Interview published in 1949 by Simon and
Schuster. Halsman (1906- 1979) photographed many leading artists and intellectuals in Europe before the war, then in 1940
he obtained an emergency visa to the United States through the intervention of Albert Einstein. Settling in New York he
began working for magazines including Life, where he made 101 cover portraits.
O’Brien had a copy of ‘The Frenchman’ for years. One weekend his friend Maser came to visit and O’Brien showed him the
book. Together they decided to take up where Halsman had left off. After much discussion of possible subjects, Maser
suggested Lapo Elkann, who is probably about as familiar to Americans today as Fernandel was in 1949. But Lapo has a
big personality and great style. The bon vivant grandson of industrialist Gianni Agnelli, Elkann is very famous in Italy.
They shot Lapo in an afternoon, and it turned out Lapo was like a silent movie star, mugging for the camera like a natural.
What might have been a practice session turned out to be a photographic essay of that captures the bigger -than-life
personality of a man who embodies the timeless flamboyance of the Italian male.
Wayne Maser has been one of the world’s premiere photographers for nearly three decades, a master of fashion
photography, nudes and portraiture. He has contributed to the American and international editions of Vanity Fair, and has
worked for Harpers Bazaar, GQ, Esquire and a world of Vogues.
The book, published by SKIRA will be available for sale.
The launch is accompanied by a film, produced by Cyrill Gutsch of Strange Matter, which will be shown at the gallery for
the duration of the project.