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"Not because I want to be different but because I want to be me." Among his previous footholds were a Paris pad with a "very naughty" decor and a Manhattan flat occupied at a time in his life when "I didn't love myself enough to make it colorful and creative." He calls the Milan duplex his first grown-up home.

"It's a step into a man's world," he remarks.

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His desk is made of resin-coated Alutex, an aluminum-glass fiber, and Bianchi upholstered the screening room's walls with recycled black Kevlar sails from the superyacht that belonged to Elkann's grandfather Gianni Agnelli; Ferrari-yellow piping relieves the fabric's Stygian hue.

"Color is a job, it's not frivolous," Elkann notes. Not because I cook well but because of the atmosphere.

Elkann, who was a Fiat marketing manager and manager of brand promotion at Group Fiat, is currently president of LA Holding, Italia Independent and Independent Ideas.

A member of the Agnelli family, Elkann was born in New York City, the son of Countess Margherita Agnelli de Pahlen and the American-born Italian writer Alain Elkann. He is the brother of John Elkann, the current Chairman of Fiat and the Chairman and CEO of Exor, an investment company controlled by the Agnelli family, which owns Juventus F. Elkann is a grandson of Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli and Marella Agnelli.

"At the moment, I'm collecting works by Michelangelo Pistoletto, and I'm longing for an Agostino Bonalumi painting," he says.

"I like my country and its creativity—we still have a lot to show the world."That said, the designer displays certain affinities for Stateside style.

Industrial designer Carlo Borromeo, a close friend, conjured the living room's cocktail table and topped it with an aluminum appliqué in the shape of Sicily, an insider reference to Elkann's love for Southern Italy.

The spiral staircase in his cavernous two-level closet is composed of dark and light mahogany, a combination inspired by classic Riva Aquarama boats, and the specially made crablike chandelier installed above it was sparked, Elkann says, by "something I made with the exhaust pipes of cars." He also worked Italia Independent's logo onto various chairs.

In addition to creating sporty apparel and eyewear for his Italia Independent brand, Elkann distributes movies with his filmmaker sister, Ginevra, and consults on Ferrari Tailor Made, a custom division of Fiat Chrysler (the automotive giant's roots can be traced to his great-great-grandfather Giovanni Agnelli, who cofounded Fiat in 1899).

Elkann also recently launched a made-to-measure capsule collection with Gucci.

In 2011, Elkann worked with Gucci's creative director, Frida Giannini, on developing the Gucci Special Edition of the Fiat 500 and has consulted with Ferrari, running Ferrari Tailor Made, which enables customers to customize their car.

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