SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – In fashion, it’s all about the accessories. And a car is the ultimate accessory, according to Ford Senior Interior Designer Anthony Prozzi. Which may be why Ford determined a fashion show was the perfect venue to highlight the design, culture and fashion inspiration that influenced the bold yet sophisticated 2013 Fusion.
The new Fusion was unveiled Oct. 22 at the Puerto Rico International Auto Show. Prozzi told those gathered for the vehicle’s regional debut that “Fusion is a fashion statement,” adding that the goal was to offer a drop-dead gorgeous car customers could “justify on a rational level as well as relate to on an emotional level.”
The event, From Runway to Driveway, provided a behind-the-scenes look at designers’ creative processes and drew a comparison between the fashion and automotive industries. A panel featuring design professionals from diverse fields illustrated similarities between creating fashion and designing the all-new Fusion.
Prozzi also visited two design schools in Puerto Rico, finding an enthusiastic reception belying news reports of a lack of interest in all things automotive among younger generations. One student even took the initiative to learn traditional transportation design techniques prior to meeting with Prozzi, who came away impressed by their depth of talent and hunger for knowledge. “Their sensitivity to proportion, silhouette, line, form, graphics and delivering a story through their designs was phenomenal. Their aesthetic and design prowess could easily translate to automotive design.”
Prozzi discussed with students the story of fashion over the last century and how knowing our history is helpful in fulfilling customer needs and wants. Students were enthusiastic about Prozzi’s visit, showing him their portfolios and getting his recommendations.
The Fusion was joined by six other vehicles at the Puerto Rico show, all of which have been well-received on the island. The most recent was the 2013 Ford Escape, which was featured in the eco-friendly area of the Ford exhibition with the Edge and Fiesta, for its efficiency and use of recycled materials in its interior design.
The Explorer was showcased in the technology-themed area alongside the Fiesta and Mustang. There an interactive booth recreated the front seat of a Ford vehicle so visitors could experiment with SYNC and MyFord Touch.
Ford is the number-two brand among customers in Puerto Rico, and auto show visitors were eager to experience the smart technologies and interactive exhibitions. In addition to automotive and business media, lifestyle and environmental media representatives attended.