The Mille Miglia, a classic car race that winds from the Italian city of Brescia to Rome, and then back again, is a showcase for some of the world’s most beautiful vintage cars.
The Mille Miglia, a classic car race that winds from the Italian city of Brescia to Rome, and then back again, is a showcase for some of the world’s most beautiful vintage cars. Paying homage to the first incarnation of the Mille Miglia, which took place between 1927 and 1957 with a pause during World War II, the race is now a beautiful dedication to classic cars, all of which were manufactured before 1957.
This year, famed industrial designer Marc Newson and his wife, Charlotte Stockdale, competed in the race, driving a 1955 Ferrari 857 Sport in pillar-box red. Fusing their passions for vintage cars (Newson) and style (Stockdale), the power couple commissioned Huntsman to create suitably stylish bespoke racing outfits that were perfectly fit for their four-day Italian venture that they embarked on from May 19th – 22nd.
The collaboration was sparked when Newson got a glimpse into Huntsman’s archives after he accompanied his wife to the Savile Row headquarters; the trailblazing stylist was being fitted for a bespoke Huntsman Tuxedo that she wore at year’s Met Gala. Noticing a vintage bespoke driving suit that Huntsman had made for a Paris to Beijing rally, Newson decided to commission one of his own for this year’s Mille Miglia.
Newson worked directly with Campbell Carey, Huntsman’s creative director and head cutter, to design suits that evoked the race’s heyday. Taking cues from the 1950’s motor racing outfits that Newson was inspired by, each suit was designed with Huntsman’s vintage shooting waistcoats informing the construction.
One of Carey’s main concerns was fashioning the suits to be adaptable to the specific requirements of driving a vintage car. As handsome as they are to look at, the vintage cars at Mille Miglia were manufactured at a time when today’s technical and advanced modifications, such as air conditioning and ergonomic seats, did not exist. To accommodate this, the suits were made with lightweight, but durable Ventile (a tightly-woven, all-weather cotton) that is both tough and breathable – perfectly suited to racing in an open-top car. Carey and Newson also added deep pockets at the chest and hips to securely hold essentials from the current era, such as iPhones and sunglasses.
While Carey cut Newson’s suit in cream Ventile, Anette Akselberg, a Huntsman cutter who is particularly skilled at women’s wear, fashioned Stockdale’s suit in a rich, scarlet Ventile. Both were made with removable gilets worn over the top, crafted in Tweed. As a finishing touch, the pair’s initials were embroidered on each of their respective collars.
Documenting their excursion, the Huntsman team travelled with Newson and Stockdale to cheer them on at the start of the race, which began with mildly hostile conditions. As they battled torrential rain in Brescia, the two were forced to push their temperamental, classic Ferrari over the starting line. Despite the damp start to the event, the sea of gorgeously constructed classic cars – among them Bugattis, Bentleys, Alfa Romeos, and Aston Martins – more than made up for the inclement weather.
As the four-day race saw Newson and Stockdale enduring Italy’s winding hills and cliff-top roads – hurtling from rain to blazing sunshine – the two stayed cool, calm, and collected in their bespoke Huntsman racing suits.
Read more about Huntsman at the Mille Miglia on the Robb Report