From the success of television shows like Project Runway, Fashion Star and Design star, it’s easy to see how consumers seem to be drooling over the design process – no matter the industry. Ford Motor Company, in partnership with local Atlanta based fashion industry leaders, held a fashion-meets-automotive conversation in Atlanta on Tuesday night, August 14. Generated by the redesign of the all new 2013 Ford Fusion, Ford’s Senior Interior Designer Anthony Prozzi led the conversation. Prozzi was joined by Atlanta’s fashion industry leaders Cinda Boomershine, founder & Chief Creative Offficer of Cinda B. Edmond Newton, CEO & Fashion Designer of Edmond Andre and Mark Edge, CEO & Founder of Mark Edge Jewelry.
And who knew that car designers get their cue for designing cars from the Fashion industry and how it has changed and morphed over time. Prozzi said that when the Fusion was designed his team looked at all the past decades and how fashion influenced that time period. The challenge, he says, was to look at what’s going on in society and to explore how it could influence the design. They looked to make cars that were sophisticated and seductive; simple and beautiful. And it was important for the vehicle to have a wide appeal with an edge.This is evident in the design of the Ford Evos. A concept car that looks like an expensive Aston Martin. It is quite a beautiful and luxurious looking car that I’d buy in a hot minute (if I didn’t have so many little kids to transport around.)
Edmond said that when he designs clothes, he targets a wide range so “someone everywhere can find something they love about the product.” He said it gives balance. Mark Edge says that when he designs he finds things that speaks to him first and then he introduces it to the world. Cinda said she gets her inspirations for patterns from all over the world. She said she has learned to do universal designs to appeal to the masses.
Ford has definitely taken a cue from the fashion industry and now are giving consumers sleek, sexy automobiles that evoke a feeling of sophistication and class. And that’s evident in the design of the Evos. Today’s consumers are savvier than ever before – recognizing great design and demanding it in the products they buy, from handbags to jewelry, to clothing and their ultimate accessory, their vehicle. 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 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.”
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.
A car, Prozzi 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.