Marella Rivolta Zagato
Marella Rivolta Zagato jointly runs prestigious Italian automotive design house Zagato with her husband, Andrea, and is the company’s Art Director. She was born into the car industry; her father Piero Rivolta managed the family company Iso Rivolta, and built cars like the Grifo and the GT.
Zagato have a long-standing relationship with Aston Martin; their most recent creation is a limited series production of the exceptional Vanquish Zagato Coupe.
Where is your perfect weekend destination and why?
My perfect weekend destination is my house on Lago Maggiore, where I can enjoy the water and the mountains side by side. On the other hand, a weekend in a city like Paris or Amsterdam where you breathe culture, innovation and design is always stimulating for new ideas and trends.
What do you love or find the most rewarding in your professional career?
When I see true emotions emerge on our clients’ faces as they admire or purchase one of our cars. It is like seeing a slice of purity that was most present in our childhood!
What is the best investment you have ever made?
Cars…collecting cars is one of the best ways to invest your money.
What makes a house a home?
The people and animals that live in it and of course, the warmth and energy they bring with them.
What is the most memorable gift you have ever received or given?
The most memorable gift I’ve ever given is my trust, and the best gift I have received, after the car my husband gave me for my latest birthday, is probably joy.
What do you consider to be art?
Everything can be a form of art. It depends how you look at it. Art in general is the balance and harmony that is perceived by people.
If you had to choose one culture or nation, which one do you espouse or admire?
Being half American and half Italian I have always had a mixed identity, but I have learnt to love and admire both cultures in different ways. Even though I know Italy and the USA best, there are other cultures that I admire for different reasons.
The Germans, for instance, for their determination and strive for perfection; the Japanese for their sophistication, and so on…
What is your most extravagant purchase and was it worth it?
I grew up in the USA but as an Italian, I do not like to give a price or value to things…
For me extravagant means excessive and in my case, this past year I definitely bought too many Harley Davidson motorcycles! Furthermore, since I was not completely happy with what was on the market, I made my own model!
How would you like to be remembered?
To be honest for me it is not so important to be remembered once I am gone. Maybe this is more a feminine trait but it would mean a lot more if the products we created live on and are appreciated for many years in the future.
Most thrilling event you have ever attended…
Probably the Mille Miglia. The adrenaline and excitement is contagious, and not only that, you also feel like you are out of this world for a few days. Better than a vacation!
Luxury is something that makes you feel good. Driving a fantastic car that takes you away from your everyday problems. For me, after cars and motorcycles, luxury is not being obliged to cook.
What is your motto?
Perduto denaro niente perduto – lost money nothing lost
Perduto onore tanto perduto – lost honour a lot lost
Perduto coraggio tutto perduto – lost courage everything lost
Your dream dinner guests…
To be honest, I would prefer the company of a book and my cats, but when I’m in the right mood I’m always happy to have guests over. People are so different and everyone brings something special to an evening.
A skill, language or subject you would love to learn…
My mother and grandfather’s native tongue is German, and I wish I had learnt it too. I would also like to speak Russian, Japanese, and so on…It would be fantastic to be able to speak all languages or to have an instant brain translator, as they do in Star Trek!
Music is a big part of my life, but unfortunately when I sing I am totally out of tune, even though I have a great ear. In my next life, I would love to be a singer or a composer.
Your proudest moment or achievement so far…
That I still have the opportunity to make beautiful cars and see how they are appreciated.
How do you define beauty?
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” – It is very difficult to define it but I would say that balance and harmony has a lot to do with it.
What is your Aston Martin of choice and why?
My greatest love is and will always be the DB4, but I have to say the new Aston Vanquish Zagato that we just presented has won my heart.