But According to Etienne Salome, the Design Director and Head of Interior Design at Bugatti, “I strongly believe the Bugatti design philosophy is so unique and original that it can be applied to a great number of products. However, a yacht is something special.”
And it comes as no surprise that Salome and Bugatti have partnered with the expert yacht designers and builders at Palmer Johnson to develop this extremely innovative and powerful yacht. Palmer Johnson has a well earned reputation for innovative ideas and questioning the status quo. And according to company CEO Timur Mohamed, since the company had already designed and developed a new series of fast day yachts, collaborating with Bugatti was logical. “We are always looking to design next generation yachts,” said Mohamed recently, “… and we were all excited to have the opportunity to design such a unique yacht for Bugatti.”
And part of the yacht’s appeal is no doubt due to the fact that its profile is so unmistakably Bugatti with its instantly recognizable C-shaped profile that comes directly from the Chiron,” Salome tells me. “In fact, this yacht successfully carries the DNA of more than a century of history of our brand with its specific architecture: center-line accentuation, Bugatti Signature Line as well as the duotone, symmetry and multiple other elements that one discovers in Bugatti sports cars as well.”
In fact, Salome continues, “This yacht was not designed to please a corporate brief. It was created for people in search of a very unique—a Bugatti—experience. Personally, I have always dreamed of designing this kind of yacht; a yacht for an audience that appreciate quality and luxury beyond a label or contemporary fashion.” Needless to say, the first Bugatti yacht has some exceedingly high expectations to meet.
Bugatti founder Ettore Bugatti once said: “If comparable, then it is no longer Bugatti.” So the challenge for both the Palmer Johnson and the Bugatti design teams was to create a very unique concept—a holistic piece of art, performance, form, and technique—at the very pinnacle of the yacht industry.
“The design process at Bugatti is not a very rational or mathematical process,” Salome continues via email. “It is something that comes from the heart and cannot be illustrated on a chart or placed inside a mathematical formula. It is the result of a unique love for everything related to Bugatti and this makes it a very human element, one that cannot be easily explained in a traditional and rational business plan.”
But it is pretty easy to see how the new Niniette 66 was directly inspired by the Bugatti Chiron. And you don’t really need to be an expert to see how this stunning, never-seen-before yacht is going to rock the “yachting” world with the beast-like super car power that all Bugatti’s are known for.
Forebes | May 2017