Lapo Elkann, Italian Scion and Fashion Designer, Is Arrested in Manhattan

Lapo Elkann, Italian Scion and Fashion Designer, Is Arrested in Manhattan

- in Automotive

Lapo Elkann, who was arrested in Manhattan on Sunday, is suspected of making a false police report.

Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Lapo Elkann, an Italian fashion designer and scion of one of Italy’s largest industrial dynasties, was arrested in Manhattan on Sunday on suspicion of making a false police report.

Shares in Italia Independent, a design company specializing in high-end eyewear and other lifestyle items, which Mr. Elkann co-founded in 2007, fell sharply after news of the arrest emerged. The shares are traded on Milan’s secondary stock exchange.

Mr. Elkann, 39, was arrested on Sunday morning after police officers were called to a public housing complex on East 28th Street, in the Kips Bay neighborhood. Mr. Elkann, who was with a 29-year-old man, told the police that he had been unlawfully imprisoned, the police said. But officers subsequently determined that his story was not true, and Mr. Elkann was arrested, the authorities said.

Mr. Elkann was given a desk-appearance ticket and released, with a court date scheduled for January, according to the New York Police Department.

A representative of Mr. Elkann’s company declined to comment on the arrest.

Mr. Elkann is a grandson of Giovanni Agnelli, who turned his family’s auto company, Fiat, into a worldwide conglomerate and was a leading figure in Italy’s postwar industrial revival. Mr. Agnelli died in 2003.

Like his grandfather, Mr. Elkann has something of a reputation as a playboy. In 2005, he was left in a coma after a drug overdose in the apartment of a prostitute.

Last year, in an interview with Vanity Fair, he discussed another company of his, Garage Italia Customs, which customizes luxury cars and private planes for high-end customers. The company is housed in the former Agip gas station and garage in the Piazzale Accursio in Milan, a midcentury masterpiece that has been refurbished to provide workshops, a restaurant, showrooms for the cars and offices.

“I doubt the current situation will have significant repercussions on the company, also because it has different managers from Mr. Elkann,” Nicola Guerini, general director at the Milan Fashion Institute, said about Italia Independent in a phone interview on Tuesday. “The investors’ reaction today was a physiological and speculative reaction to what happened.”

Even if the brand is strongly connected to Mr. Elkann’s image, he is only the president at present, Mr. Guerini said, adding, “Managers are what matters in the longer term.”

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