Lapo Elkann

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Lapo Elkann
Lapo Elkann, Roma (retouched to remove Palazzi Samantha) 25-01-2014 (cropped).jpg
Elkann 2014 in Rome, Italy
Lapo Edovard Elkann

(1977-10-07) 7 October 1977 (age 45)
Height1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)
FamilyAgnelli family

Lapo Edovard Elkann[1] (born 7 October 1977) is an Italian businessman, philanthropist and grandson of Gianni Agnelli, the former controlling CEO and controlling shareholder of Fiat Automobiles.


A member of the Agnelli family, Elkann was born in New York City, the son of Countess Margherita Agnelli de Pahlen and the American-born Italian writer Alain Elkann. His father is Jewish and his mother is Catholic.[2][3][4]

He is the brother of John Elkann, the current chairman of Fiat and the chairman and CEO of Exor, an investment company controlled by the Agnelli family, which owns Juventus F.C. Elkann is a grandson of Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli and Marella Agnelli. He is nephew of Don Carlo Caracciolo, founder of Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso - owner of the newspaper la Repubblica, the Italian daily general-interest newspaper.[5] Elkann is also a stepson of Russian nobleman Count Sergei de Pahlen.[6] Elkann also has a sister, Ginevra Elkann, and five half-siblings by his mother's second marriage (Maria, Pierre, Sophia, Anna, and Tatiana).[6] He is also a great-grandnephew of Ettore Ovazza, of the Ovazza banking family, via his grandmother, Carla Ovazza.[7][self-published source] On October 7, 2021, he married Portuguese rally racer Joana Lemos.


In 2001, Elkann worked as a personal assistant to Henry Kissinger, subsequently working as marketing associate for Ferrari and Maserati. In 2003, he became Fiat's director of marketing. He coordinated marketing for the Fiat Punto and Fiat 500.[8] Elkann left Fiat in 2005 after being widely reported as having a serious cocaine and heroin addiction,[9][10] creating Italia Independent, a lifestyle and clothing brand featuring Italian products.[9][10] In 2007 he founded Independent Ideas, a communication and advertising agency.[citation needed]

In 2011, Elkann worked with Gucci's creative director, Frida Giannini, on developing the Gucci Special Edition of the Fiat 500 and has consulted with Ferrari, running Ferrari Tailor Made, which enables customers to customize their car.[9] Still in 2011 Italia Independent and ToyWatch of Gianluca Vacchi presented a special edition of 1007 copies of watches called Unique Edition.

In June 2013 Elkann listed Italia Independent on the Milan Stock Exchange.[11] He and his brother John had to reinvest in Italia Independent in 2017 after its share price plunged from €40 to €4.4 following disappointing sales and mismanagement.[12]

Legal issues[edit]

In October 2006, Mark Seal wrote in Vanity Fair that Elkann "had been found naked and unconscious in the apartment of Donato Broco, a 53-year-old transsexual prostitute known as Patrizia."[13] He was brought to the hospital, where he was in a coma for three days. Police investigated him at the time for cocaine use and soliciting prostitution.[13] The Italian photographer Fabrizio Corona attempted to blackmail the Agnelli family for compromising information against Lapo Elkann. Marco Durante, head of LaPresse, an international photographic agency, was hired by the Agnelli family to negotiate with Fabrizio Corona and manage the situation.[14][15]

On November 27, 2016 in New York, Elkann was arrested for making a false police report claiming that he had been unlawfully imprisoned.[16] He had previously contacted his family, stating that he would "be harmed" if they did not pay a $10,000 ransom. He was accompanied by a transsexual escort who was also arrested.[17][18][16] Charges against the escort and against Elkann were later dropped.[19][20]

Awards and honors[edit]

Vanity Fair magazine listed Elkann in its International Best Dressed List in 2008, and added him to its Best Dressed Hall of Fame in 2009.[21][22]

Art Collection[edit]

Lapo Elkann is an art lover with an impressive collection of contemporary art including original paintings by Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Damien Hirst, Roy Lichtenstein and rising contemporary artists including British artists Teddy McDonald and Ian Berry who made his portrait out of denim.[23][24][25][26]

Personal life[edit]

In October 2021 Elkann married former Rally Raid racer Joana Lemos.[27]



  1. ^ "Lapo Edovard Elkann, Founder at Italia Independent Group SpA - Relationship Science". Relationship Science. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "Lapo Elkann: Ritratto/intervista dell'imprenditore trentenne che odia le mezze misure" [Portrait / interview thirty year old entrepreneur who hates half measures.] (in Italian). Marie Retrieved 2013-07-06.
  4. ^ Peephole (2009-08-24). "Lapo Elkann vuole essere ebreo e diventare un bravo padre" [Lapo Elkann wants to be jew and become a good father] (in Italian). Gossipblog. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
  5. ^ Povoledo, Elisabetta (2008-12-17). "C. Caracciolo, 83, a Publisher and La Repubblica Founder, Is Dead". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-09-06.
  6. ^ a b Seal, Mark: "The Woman Who Wanted the Secrets," Vanity Fair, August 2008
  7. ^, Unbit s.a.s. -. "Lapo Elkann | Official Site". Retrieved 2015-10-01.
  8. ^ Barbie Latza Nadeau (2011-11-28). "Playboy Industrialist Lapo Elkann Wants to Remake Italy's Image". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on 2011-11-29.
  9. ^ a b c "Tales from Lapoland" Financial Times
  10. ^ a b "Ever-obsessive, Lapo Elkann returns with no apologies", Peter Kiefer, February 23, 2007, NY Times.
  11. ^ Sanderson, Rachel (2013-06-27). "Lapo Elkann's Italia Independent set for Milan debut". Retrieved 2013-07-06.
  12. ^ Sanderson, Rachel (20 April 2018). "Fiat scion aims to bring back 'roaring 50s' luxury". Financial Times.
  13. ^ a b Seal, Mark (Feb 2006). "Driven by Dynasty". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  14. ^ 'Così Corona tentò il ricatto su Lapo'
  15. ^ Vallettopoli, Lapo Elkann accusa Fabrizio Corona
  16. ^ a b Pianigiani, Gaia; Rojas, Rick (29 November 2016). "Lapo Elkann, Italian Scion and Fashion Designer, Is Arrested in Manhattan". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  17. ^ Snavely, Brent (29 November 2016). "Fiat heir Lapo Elkann arrested after allegedly faking his own kidnapping". USA Today. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  18. ^ Parascandola, Rocco; Annese, John. "Grandson of ex-Fiat CEO faked own kidnapping after he and transgender escort ran out of cash". New York Daily News. No. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  19. ^ Kirchgaessner, Stephanie (29 November 2016). "Lapo Elkann, scion of powerful Agnelli family, charged with faking own kidnap". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  20. ^ New York prosecutor drops charges against Fiat heir Lapo Elkann. In: Reuters, 25. Januar 2017.
  21. ^ Vanity Fair, September 2008 Archived December 1, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "The International Best-Dressed List Hall of Fame 2014", Theresa Grill, August 2014, "Vanity Fair"
  23. ^ "Painted Celebrity Portraits - DuJour". DuJour. Retrieved 2018-06-29.
  24. ^ Quilty-Harper, Conrad. "Teddy M on the creation of 'Royal Love' with the Duchess of York and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie". Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  25. ^ "Talented Cotswold artist sells two works to Fiat heir and art collector Lapo Elkann". Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  26. ^ "Ian Berry — Art in Denim". IAN BERRY. Retrieved 2020-04-08.
  27. ^ "Lapo Elkann si è sposato: le nozze in Portogallo con Joana Lemos". Vanity Fair Italia (in Italian). 2021-10-08. Retrieved 2022-03-09.

External links[edit]