PIRELLI PZERO: how an Experiment between Marketing and Design Become a Cult


PZERO: how an Experiment between Marketing and Design Become a Cult

A transversal plan with a high-tech spirit. Built between marketing and fashion. With strong roots in industrila design. And above all an ancient history, begun in 1877 on the outskirts of Milan. After 125 years from the first experiment, 2002 saw the rebirth of clothes signed Pirelli with a new brand, PZERO, inspired by the tyre that the company created in 1987.


In the past, they produced raincoats and covered coats in caoutchou, then unknown. Now the plan of ceo Marco Tronchetti Provera has a new soul, more experimental. “ From a marketing research, the Pirelli brand was glamorous, sexy, fashionable. This appeal was due to the Calendar.

For this reason, we decided to start a new plan of industrial design, paving the way for many other similar experiences”, so Antonio Gallo, head of communication PIRELLI PZERO. At the beginning , the group launched just two items: a boat shoe, PZERO Acqua, and a jacket with innovative performances, PZERO Aria. And over 20,000 T-shirt sold in the last season and printed with the Super B badge, the first-logo of the brand.

Pirelli Boots

Now the collection has turned into a total look, with seven designers interested, two licensees (Morellato & Sector for watches, Tecnorib for speed boats). From spring-summer 2008 shoes collection is the outcome of a new productive and commercial strategy managed by an internal Pirelli team. From spring-summer 2009 finally PZERO started producing bags: 2 models in a limited edition of 200 pieces.

Pirelli shoes

A new project was born for celebrating a very important anniversary. In 1955, Pirelli launched the first “pneumatic boat,” named The Nautilus, in 2005 PIRELLI PZERO has signed a licensing agreement with Tecnorib to create a new rubberized speedboat. The first PZERO speedboat made its debut in 2006.

Pirelli Cult

In 2008 PZERO, the last engineering project by Pirelli, came together with a co-branding with HEAD and giving birth to the WINTER SOTTOZERO ski which comes from the same name of the tyre, whose last update was issued earlier that year.

High level performances – the intelligent anti-vibration system by HEAD Intelligence Technology® and the revolutionary liquid metal memory, Liquidmetal® – and research materials gave a hint to evolve and renew the the “long P” snow equipment tradition, already produced back in the 50’s and shown in the magazine Rivista d’informazione e di tecnica Pirelli thanks to photographs by Federico Patellani, the inventor of the journalistic “photo-texts” and director of documentaries with Mario Soldati e Alberto Lattuada. Only 200 pieces of the PZero WINTER SOTTOZERO ski were produced and uniquely numbered, available in selected specialist stores in the most exclusive ski locations such as Cortina D’Ampezzo and St.Moritz, but also in concept stores like San Carlo in Torino.

Pirelli Boots 2012

In February 2010 Luigi Bocconi University in Milan, invited Antonio Gallo to give a lecture entitled “The case PZERO” for students of the International Master in Fashion Experience & Design Management (MAFED 2010), course for graduates and students with experience in fashion and design.