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Luca Orlandi's Need for Speed - Designer Spotted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Luca Orlandi's Need for Speed - Designer Spotted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
(Getty) Luca Orlandi with models backstage at fashion week in 2007

In their downtime, lots of designers seem to spend time traveling through India or Southeast Asia, learning to cook, doing yoga, or pursuing other wholesome-and-not-totally-out-of-left-field hobbies. Designer Luca Orlandi, who founded the ready-to-wear line Luca Luca, apparently spent two days this week testing a Star Mazda at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. How's that for awesome?

Turns out, Orlandi's long had a need for speed. When a reporter from ESPN approached him and asked how he got into racing, he confessed that fast cars—not fashion—are actually his first love.

"The real question is how did I get into fashion?" he said. "I raced cars as a teen. I've been an Italian champion. I wanted a career as a car racer but my family was against it. And it was expensive to keep up with the sport. So I finished college and moved to New York and started my fashion career. After 20 years, I'm having a mid-life crisis so I wanted to find a new hobby. I got into racing again."

And as for how racing stacks up against the super-competitive fashion industry?

"Fashion is also a very competitive business," Orlandi said. "You have the creative side, which is nice. But then you have the business side, which is cut throat. In America, for the past 10 years, the New York fashion has become really avant-garde. Before, designers considered New York fashion as leftovers from the other side of the ocean. They would just knock off the European creation. But now New York has become the hub of fashion, and the number of young designers in New York is unmatched anywhere. It's like in racing. Before, you would have three or four good drivers chasing a championship. Now, out of 25 drivers, there are at least 22 talented drivers. That's what New York has become."

Check out the rest of Orlandi's interview with ESPN right here.

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