Monday, 01 October 2012

A VISIT AT MONDIAL DE L'AUTOMOBILE - Interview with Marc Langenbrinck, General Manager, Mercedes-Benz Cars France, about the relationship between Mercedes and fashion

A visit at le Mondial de l'Automobile that takes place at Portes de Versailles until the 14th of October was the opportunity to know more about Mercedes and its relationship to fashion as we know the brand is very involved in most of main fashion weeks around the world.



Interview with Marc Langenbrinck, General Manager of Mercedes-Benz France :

What makes sense between the values of Mercedes and the world of fashion ?

Marc Langenbrinck : Mercedes-Benz has been creating a dream for the past 125 years, forged by the values of quality, elegance and a deep respect of our customers. But we are reaching a turning point. It is important to shake up our codes which may appear, above all in France, a bit dusty. We want to be more modern, vigorous and creative, which also corresponds to the DNA of our brand. Our proximity to fashion through our partnerships to the main international fashion weeks shows that. This also requires to be more accessible : why should you wait 15 to 20 years for buying your Mercedes ? Our new model Classe A can enter the budget of the young generations.

Can Mercedes be considered as an icon ?

 ML : Mercedes is stylish of course, but it is not enough. To become and remain an icon requires a constant questioning and a focus on creation. Our designers have always sought to draw shapes, a very avant-garde sculptural language that doesn't really get old along decades. Such a mythical model as the 300 LS Papillon is still considered as one of the 3 most beautiful pieces of artwork in the car history.

How does the brand get fed by fashion ?

ML : To get an iconic status also means to know how to associate its brand to other exceptional worlds and learn about their tools and mechanisms. One of our last advertising campaigns (winter 2012) shot by photographer Alex Prager (Awarded Best Creative Direction by ASVOFF Festival in 2010) with model Lara Stone, totally embodies the fashion codes. Its variation into a fashion film was incomparably fresh and innovative for our industry. I find fashion fascinating for being synonymous with a constant renewal. Its creative capacity inspires us much, not only due to the innovative work it brings on garments, but also in the way fashion transforms the everyday life, creates new habits.

Mercedes-Benz fashion film by Alex Prager with Lara Stone


Do you believe a fashion designer could ever be involved in the design of a vehicle ?

ML : Unfortunately for us, even if we are aware of the strong similarities between the work of a fashion designer and the one of a car designer, the development of a car still takes 6 to 7 years long, which is not compatible enough with the pace of fashion.

Conversely, have you already thought to practice your industrial and creative experience on other industries, like fashion ?

ML : Gorden Wagner, our vice-president at Design Mercedes-Benz Cars regularly has some discussions with great couturiers. On the other hand, we have recently built a collaboration between Smart and Jeremy Scott who had been strongly amazed by our self-heating fabrics. It was easy for him to project such a technology on shoes. It cannot be said we have already entered a real cooperation with fashion on aspects related to research & development, but we have 15 000 designers who get up every morning with a new idea. Our brand is the most productive one in terms of deposits of patents. Why shouldn't we propose our pool of expertise to other people indeed ?

Beyond a now very established presence on most of fashion weeks, wouldn't Mercedes be tempted to be involved more deeply in the system of fashion ?

ML : This is precisely a point we want to develop next year. Things are being set up now for no longer being limited to a simple presence but to also have something to say and play a role as an actor. This can occur through an association with the main prescribers in the fashion industry, but also through a closer look on young designers. 



The rest of the trade show was also very inspiring considering the work of brands in the mise en scene of their models, the new colors of car bodies and the shapes of some of the concept cars. You can also feel the development of new energies such as electricity brings new futuristic visions in car design. 












Some other cliches of the mood of the tradeshow :








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Thursday, 19 April 2012


Dear Diane and Shaded Viewers // 

I am back in my hometown, Los Angeles, to attend the launch of the newest edition of The Avant/Garde Diaries "Transmission" project, as curated by Mike D of the Beastie Boys, entitled A V Club [A=Audio V=Visual]. This being the second issue of a concept that was first realized in Berlin - Mike D's curatorial work follows that of Raf Simons.

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Considering I was a guest of Mr. Simons last summer in Berlin, I am honored that Mercedes Benz invited me back to preview the 17 day exhibition at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA [Museum of Contemporary Art]. For this edition Mike D selects a diverse group of artists, 17 in total, namely from Los Angeles and New York to support his overall vision. After tonights opening, featuring a special performance by Santigold, the exhibition will open to the public and host a series of daily events and extended hours.

Below is a preview of 10 participating artists, from Mike D's world : 

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001 Jim Drain & Ara Peterson // 002 Peter Coffin 

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003 Ben Jones // 004 Mike Mills 

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005 Ara Video // 006 Freeman & Lowe

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007 Sage Vaughn // 008 Takeshi Murata 

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009 Tom Sachs // 010 Will Fowler 

For more information check out 

- Kristopher Arden-Houser 

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Saturday, 28 February 2009

Sonny Vandevelde lands in Milan

Dear Shaded Viewers,

I'm happy to say that Sonny Vandevelde has landed in Milan and he's loving the cool cars he's finding on the streets.

Car 2
photos by Sonny Vandevelde

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Thursday, 29 March 2007

Eley Kishimoto does the Gumball

Dear Shaded Viewers,

One of my fondest memories from 2005 was when I documented Mark Eley in his Eley Kishimoto car with co-pilot Jason for the GUmball 3000. We covered 3,000 miles in 6 days. Any of you going to the festival d'Hyeres end of April? The film will be showing there in You Wear it Well.


"We are doing ZGB3K this year as close to zero emissions Gumball. This is one of three at the starting grid with Karta and Jason in the other two. Any green vehicle comments welcome. "



Blog it for me Mark...

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Sunday, 28 May 2006

Mario Canal: I Love Formula1

Dear Diane, dear shaded viewers,


My dad used to take me to the Formula1 and bike races when I was a kid in Madrid. He even had a beautiful green Benelli motorbike which he gave me a ride on to the school. You can imagine that I was very popular...
I still love motor sports -I am kind of Marinetti and Futurismo lover too-, despite that, I can't drive even a bicycle. When I am in Madrid I gather with my friends to watch F1. We started a couple of years ago, when Fernando Alonso started to win races and Shumacher started to loose his kaiser title in favor of the spaniard. Before, it was too boring to see Ferrari winning all the time.
Now it's more exciting. Every two sundays I find the closest bar in the city where I am and stick my eyes to the TV. And if there's a race I would not miss that's Monaco, at Montecarlo's Grand Prix.
It's the only circuit placed in the middle of a city so the images are very spectacular. The photos I am posting are not, but well, the screen was to high and bla bla bla.
Anyway, Alonso won again. And Montoya -a nice colombian guy, my other favorite driver- was second. Poor Kimi Raikkonen broke his engine, as Webber did too. They were second and third at the moment so I can imagine they felt bit disappointed.
This is Kimi leaving the course.


This guy is a great driver, but is not lucky at all. His silver arrow reminds me of Mazinger Z, it's my favorite vehicle of the F1. But he has probably fucked the championship as much as his engine on this race. The amount of points of Alonso is now huge. Anything can happen but the spaniard is a very good pilot and the Renault 2006 is a great car.
Also Michael Shummacher has lost almost all chances to stop Alonso from winning again the championship as he tried to cheat everybody yesterday on the trainings: he stopped his car in the middle of the course to avoid Alonso doing the fastest lap and the pole position, so he was penalized and started the race in the last position -20th-. Still, he ended the fifth, he did a very good race. Next time don't be that smart, Schummi. People are not that stupid.
Well, what else can I say, congratulations, Fernando. And as I say with my friend Pelayo, Puxa Asturies!



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Friday, 19 May 2006

Mark Eley does the Gumball, check out all the photos on Flicker on the left hand side of the screen

Dear Shaded Viewers,

If you are like me you got a bit disappointed when suddenly you could not follow Mark Eley's adventure on the Gumball. Last night he posted, so click on the flicker window on the left of your screen for more. On flicker they are in order with text, here I'm just posting like anything goes.


The first image is Yorgo, Mr. Intersection Magazine and Mark Eley's co-pilot for the Gumball 3000 adventure and the last image at the bottom is Mark Eley feeling the effects of the night before while riding on a Tuk Tuk in Bangkok. Click on Flicker and see the rest of the images, in order and with a text.



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