From high Fashion to Luxury Car care: the awesome story of Marcello Mereu, a Sardinian man who decided to put his hands on.
The Mereus, an Italian story
My friend Michele has a big traditional Italian family. 4 kids, all cool and special, loving each other so passionately that I’m almost jealous of their incredible bond.
I already knew Pietro (a director and food passionate) and Barbara (just come back from China, where she lived 10 years), but I never met Marcello, who was for me the mysterious one: I knew vaguely that he worked in Fashion Accessories – for big brands as Sergio Rossi, Jimmy Choo and Prada – but nothing more.
For me, the Mereus setup was clear: Pietro the director, Michele the journalist, Barb the Chinese and Marcello the Fashion guy. But no. Michele told me candidly:
Oh, you know, Marcello is now in cars washing
I mean, in my own Universe, Fashion is at stars level whereas cars are more or less at Mariana Trench level…so I really can’t understand how someone could drop THE Glamour to clean cars.
I became super duper curious and I asked Marcello an appointment, he just asked me:
would you mind if we meet at the garage?
On the 5th October he came to pick me up and we went to the garage, where I understood that, despite the apparent distance, there is un underneath bond with this this charming (very handsome I should confess) and apparently timid man.
He said garage, I say loft
Minimalistic, perfectly clean, full of plants, books and chosen object, this is not what I call a garage. Marcello’s space is more like one’s private nest, a space where isolate, work and dream quietly.
The mix and mach is the keyword of this space. I’ve been particularly impressed by the library, where, for example, books about the Italian car legends as Ferrari and Ascari are close to ones about Saint Benedict – whose doctrine is Marcello’s own philosophy – and a Helmuth Newton’s nudes book is close to one about Soviet Russia.
Luxury care, unfortunately just for cars
Haute Detailing is the name of this so-called-garage where Marcello does for cars what every woman dreams to get in a luxury beauty SPA.
Haute Detailing offers luxury car care services for precious modern cars, luxury and vintage cars owned by very passionate Clients. The services included internal and external cleaning, hydration of internal parts, protection treatments, “make-up” for special occasion and restoration for vintage cars, which is far more what I thought possible for an inanimate object!
The tools Marcello use are incredible: some looked like painters’s ones and others like Star Trek’s. Opening a Jean Prouvé’s closet I discovered a selection of beauty product that I alternatively wanted to eat/put on my own face. Luckily I restrained my outbursts.
I asked Marcello the reason why he decided to change so radically his life: the answer is really inspiring.
In the beginning working in Fashion was exciting, but after having been to the hundredth, coolest fashion show, it became just a job, and I’ve realized that it doesn’t fulfilled my very fundamental needs
Moreover Marcello told me that he liked to work with others people, but in all honesty, he prefers to work by himself, defining the timing and the level of accuracy, not to mention the time to ponder while working.
Furthermore, the manual work is for Marcello’ the ultimate virtue, almost as for a monk. From this point of view I deem Marcello approach not only very brave, but also really contemporary. Going back to the handiwork is a new form of freedom, a deep respect for our humanity.
Indeed he quit his very well paid fashion job to learn the luxury car care techniques, from the basics. After attending classes, as in the Renaissance, he joined as well a bottega*, where he embodied the role of garzone** and worked for months, learning day by day.
Luxurious, opulent, precious
When I asked about his own preferences about cars, Marcello said:
Actually I like luxury, I care little about the performance. Speaking about this, the perfect example is a Maharani, who likes to have drinks, but she couldn’t inside her palace, being considered inapropriate. So she just got a Rolls-Royce settled it up like a boudoir. She just sip her drinks inside it while hanging around in her garden. This is luxury for me and for instance I just adore it.
And at that point I understood. The point is not what you Love, the point is how you Love. And as strange as it would seems, I suddenly recognize in this man my perfect twin.
I care, so I love.
* the old school Italian word for workshop