ATLANTA – Fashion has made a comeback.
The days of apathetic aesthetics in favor of products that simply function are over. The trend now is to have it all – style, function and an affordable price. This is true in the design areas of all industries, especially two that have recently been in particular symmetry: automotive and fashion.
“Simply put, Fusion is a fashion statement, so it’s no surprise the two worlds merge so effortlessly,” says Anthony Prozzi, Ford senior interior designer and former designer for Donna Karan. “Our goal is to offer a car that is drop-dead gorgeous – something our customers can justify on a rational level as well as one they can relate to on an emotional level.
“Consumers today expect functionality and quality, but also style and a sense of ‘premium’ that usually comes with a designer label – and all with an attainable price tag,” Prozzi adds. “Designers like Jason Wu with his line at Target and Versace at H&M are making high-end products within reach of more customers.”
Ford’s Fusion, he says, also offers a premium experience without the premium price tag.
Ford is hosting “From Runway to Driveway” to offer a look behind the scenes of designers’ creative processes and to compare notes between the fashion and automotive industries.
The panel features an array of talent across different aesthetic fields, design professionals who will draw similarities between creating fashion and designing the all-new Fusion.
Mark Edge, founder and CEO of Mark Edge Jewelry, creates one-of-a-kind accessories in a deceptively simple style that is both earthy yet elegant. Like the 2013 Fusion, Edge embraces sustainability in an impressive way. He uses recycled metals for his Eco Vintage line of earrings and necklaces. The designer will speak to the practice of reusing materials without sacrificing quality or style.
Customers don’t just want something that looks good; they also want to feel like they are doing the right thing when they make a purchase. At the same time, being eco-friendly doesn’t mean you have to compromise on good looks – the all-new Fusion is a clear testament to that.
Fusion offers REPREVE seat fabric made from a hybrid blend of recycled plastic bottles and post-consumer waste. Ford’s use of soy-based foams for seat cushions has helped reduce the company’s petroleum oil usage by 4 million pounds annually and carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 20 million pounds.
Fashion designer Edmond Newton will address upcoming trends in clothing styles. With his line Edmond Andre, Newton’s fall menswear collection embraces the duality of refinement and strength. His clothing, while not afraid to hug the body, also creates the perception of athleticism.
Just as styles like Newton’s show flattering tapered or fitted seams, Ford’s Fusion displays a sleek and innovative silhouette. Subtle accents on the hood and doors give the car a look unlike any other, a unique elegance – just like the lines of a perfectly tailored suit.
Cinda Boomershine, founder and chief creative officer of cinda b, creates fashionable handbags and totes. Boomershine started as an interior designer and is now fittingly designing popular ways to carry things. She admits the purpose of her accessory products is to hold stuff, but the reason a woman chooses a purse is for its look.
“When you put on a necklace,” Prozzi says, “you expect the chain will not break around your neck, that the clasp will not give out if you start to dance. You buy it and wear it because of its design, because of how it makes you look and feel. In essence, you expect that necklace to work.”
A car, he adds, is the ultimate accessory. “You expect that car to drive, but its design makes you desire it. It creates an emotional bond with you that maybe you can’t explain, but you know it’s something you just have to have.
“Beauty has that effect on people,” Prozzi says.
As designers, the challenge is to create a product that is universally appreciated while still offering the consumer a sense of individuality.
Whether discussing the latest collection on the runway or the all-new Fusion in the driveway, the similarities between the fashion and automobile industries are numerous and compelling.