ROME • Ferrari and Philipp Plein should get on just beautifully.
After all, few companies spell money and life in the fast lane quite like the Italian manufacturer.
And few people personify the ostentatious display of wealth quite like the German fashion designer known for leopard-print gowns, crystal-studded sneakers and skimpy swimwear. But that is where the trouble started.
Plein has posted photos on Instagram featuring bikini-clad women suggestively gyrating atop an acid-green Ferrari while the designer douses the proceedings with a garden hose.
Another series showed Plein's sparkly footwear arrayed on the hood of his Ferrari 812 Superfast.
A law firm representing the Italian company quickly dispatched a letter demanding Plein take the pictures down within 48 hours, calling them "distasteful" and incompatible with its image.
Ferrari also pointed out that displaying Plein's sneakers on its cars would hurt shoe labels already affiliated with the carmaker.
He went on the counter-attack, posting the letter online and decrying Ferrari's treatment of a loyal client and longstanding fan.
He then put up a photo montage depicting Ferrari chief executive Louis Camilleri as a clown and asked his 1.8 million Instagram followers to send him photos of shoes on their cars.
"Can't even put in words how disappointed and disgusted I am about this unfair and totally inappropriate claim against me personally," Plein wrote in an Instagram post accompanying the lawyer's letter.