Interview: Co-Owner Neima Khaila Tells the Story Behind the Pink Dolphin Ferrari

Interview: Co-Owner Neima Khaila Tells the Story Behind the Pink Dolphin FerrariCredit: Julian Edward

Nicki Minaj's pink Lamborghini Aventador isn't the only wildly colored supercar to make waves this week. But instead of being parked in front of a KMart, the above Ferrari 458 Spider was parked outside of 1431 Haight Street in San Francisco, where clothing brand Pink Dolphin's planted its flag for its newest location. Hundreds of people swarmed for both the opening of the store and to get a peep of the retro-looking Ferrari. In order to learn out the inspiration behind the design, we were fortunate enough to get co-owner Neima Khaila on the phone to discuss the exciting weekend. See what he had to say below. 

Interview by Tony Markovich (@T_Marko)

This isn't the first time you guys have done up cars for special events. How did you come up with the idea for the camo cars

Those were in the early stage with the brand. We had just opened our Fairfax store and we’re really big on positivity and showing growth and that was kind of like a symbol for us. We all had a BMW 3 series and we just wrapped it in camo. We always try to do something unconventional, like nontraditional ways of marketing. Growing up on Bape and growing up on some of these other brands that we looked up to early on, I remember Bape did a super-dope wrap camo car, and then we wanted to do our own version of that.

When we opened our flagship store in L.A., we parked them in front of the store and they got a really good response. Kids were really excited and taking pictures in front of them, that was a custom camo pattern that we had designed. In celebration of the store opening and our new collection, which included our custom camo, we did that. Then we did the video. I remember you guys picked it up, which is really cool.

You guys had an Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz in there, too. 

Oh yeah, we had a G35 and then a CLS Mercedes. One of those was our sales guy's car, so we just did that, too, with the BMW. 

How did you guys choose a 458 for this week's launch? 

This time, when we opened our San Francisco store, we kinda wanted to do something in the same vein but just show growth and show people that, "hey, we’re growing." This is our way of doing a 458 Ferrari Spider. We wanted it to be loud but not as loud as the camo before, you know what I mean? Because it's obviously much nicer of a car, more to respect the car, and respect the culture of Ferrari and everything but also put our twist to it. 

 

It's inspired by the old Ferraris in the early '90s that used to have the vents on the doors.

 

Do you guys own the Ferrari?

Yeah, it’s under the business name, but it's mine and Pink Dolphin's co-founder and Creative Director Cena Barhaghi's.

Is it a wrap or a plasti-dip? Or is it actually paint?

Yeah, it's a wrap. The mirrors are painted black and the rims are painted black, but the entire car is a wrap.

How did you guys come up with that specific design? 

Me and Cena were actually at the house and we really wanted wanted to do something that took into consideration the culture of Ferrari and didn’t want to go too crazy loud, but we also want to add that Pink Dolphin flair to it so we came up with that design.

It's inspired from the old Ferraris in the early '90s that used to have those vents on the doors, you know what I’m saying? I remember I told Cena that I really like how the vintage ones used to have the vents on the side. So, we kinda just played with it, and obviously those are our staple colors so we just came up with that and put the logo on the license plate.

Are you guys going to keep it like that or is it just temporary?

We’re definitely gonna keep it like that. We’re actually shipping it back to L.A. tomorrow, so we’re gonna be parking it in front of the L.A. store.

Just to use it as more promo?

Yeah, at the other east end of the store. Like Bijan, they park that yellow Bugatti outside the store, and you know he’s also a Persian designer, and me and Cena are also Persian. We definitely studied him growing up, and that's a different space within fashion, but I always observe what other successful entrepreneurs and designers have done. We were influenced by different things growing up and we kind of learned from him did our own version.

If you guys had the BMWs and the Mercedes and then to show growth went to a Ferrari, what’s going to be next? a Bugatti?

[Laughs] Man, Cena really wants to get it. He’s obsessed with the Bugatti, but you never know, man. God willing, if things keep going strong, which we anticipate they will, the next store we want to put in Paris. Maybe we’ll have a Bugatti in front of the Paris store.

Last thing. Jalopnik, a very popular car blog, picked up the car and were a little harsh on the colors. How do you take that?

They’re not happy with it?  I mean that's just a risk, right? We do something like that, that's expect. Even with the brand, you got some people that hate on it and some people that like it. We’re just gonna keep doing our thing.  

RELATED: Ride the Wave With Pink Dolphin's Multicolor Camo Cars

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