A certain sports car from Dubai made headlines around the world last week, largely due to the fact that it made an impression on Bollywood actor Salman Khan.
The car, a yellow Ferrari F12berlinetta belonging to 15-year-old Emirati Rashed Belhasa, is decked out in a bright red wrap emblazoned with the logos of Louis Vuitton and Supreme. It's a nod to the highly anticipated collaboration between the luxury fashion house, and the skateboarding and streetwear label. Unveiled in July, the range featured limited-edition denim jackets, T-shirts, hats, bags, gloves, trainers, luggage and more. Belhasa was lucky to get his hands on several items from the exclusive range, before also revamping his vehicle to reflect the collaboration.
Son of Saif Ahmed Belhasa, the chairman of Saif Belhasa Group of Companies, which owns Belhasa Driving Center; and Sarah Belhasa, the socialite and fashion entrepreneur who owns Studio 8 boutique, the young social-media star has enjoyed a rather privileged upbringing. He has more than 700,000 followers on his Instagram account, where he posts photos of his exotic pets, not to mention visits from athletes and celebrities such as Wayne Rooney, Neymar Junior, Fetty Wap, DJ Khaled, Flo Rida, Paris Hilton, Mariah Carey and others.
The Louis Vuitton X Supreme car makeover was orchestrated by FoilX – a Dubai-based car-wrap workshop headquartered in Al Quoz. Since taking on Belhasa's project, the company's social-media presence has skyrocketed, as images of Belhasa and his new ride have gone viral.
FoilX treated the young Emirati as a VIP client and, as such, reduced the usual time frame required to complete the car wrap. "Usually, we would take around three to four days for wrapping a car, but as this was an extraordinary job and exceptional client, it took us 24 hours to produce and wrap the entire vehicle to have it ready for delivery," says FoilX general manager Mohamed Ali Atish.
Also known as "Money Kicks" online, the young Belhasa is an avid YouTube vlogger, and produced a short film highlighting his car-wrapping experience. The video, which has more than 2.5 million views, was also seen by Salman Khan, who later viewed the revamped vehicle in-person in Dubai, where he is currently shooting his upcoming film Tiger Zinda Hai.
The Louis Vuitton X Supreme-stamped Ferrari is the first of its kind, and according to Atish, queries for luxury-inspired prints as car wraps are very rare. Prior to this, the most dramatic car transformation at FoilX involved giving a Chevrolet Camaro a Hello Kitty theme. Atish explains that FoilX does not offer any services to secure copyright permissions for replicating logos, and says that the company was advised that Belhasa had already secured any external approvals required for the car wrap.
Although the fact that Belhasa is under the legal driving age in the UAE may be puzzling to some, Atish explains that FoilX has done previous jobs for underage clients, whose vehicles are operated by hired drivers. "That does not stop them from getting their cars wrapped or customised, even if they would not be driving them. In Dubai, 'boys and toys' is a term that has no age restrictions," he says.
"A man's vehicle is an extension of his personality. Every custom job has a unique idea behind it, which makes it personal, and this wrap goes to show that Mr Rashed is a daring person who is not afraid to express himself in a way that others would shy away from."
Fashion fads are fleeting, and although some designer logos and limited-edition items remain timeless, even becoming collectors' items, it's doubtful that the hype around Louis Vuitton's collaboration with Supreme will outlast the three years required for Belhasa to attain his own driver's licence. Thankfully, car wraps are only temporary.