YOU ONLY have to open a red-top newspaper or the pages of a gossip magazine to see the lengths that celebrities, sports stars and high-flying business people go to stand out from the crowd.
Once, people were happy to have a wittily personalised numberplate but more recently those who can afford it have been opting for bespoke paint jobs, uniquely upholstered interiors and bespoke body kits that can alter a car’s original styling so much that it becomes almost unrecognisable.
Some think this practice is a bit vulgar but a quick visit to Yianni Charalambous at his Yiannimize-Refined customisation workshop in north London reveals that trade is roaring, and it’s not just footballers and their girlfriends queuing up for automotive cosmetic surgery.
Russian oligarchs are demanding their Maybach be wrapped in an ivory white vinyl coating. Well-known actors are fitting games consoles and TV screens to their Bentleys. Footballers ‒ once the kings of garish car pimping ‒ are pushing the boat out even further and covering their cars in faux snakeskin.
Yianni has worked for some household names such as the potty-mouthed chef Gordon Ramsay, comedian James Corden, singer Alexandra Burke, boyband JLS and a crop of sports stars. We take a tour around his workshop.
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