The automakers employed engineers who designed the car’s shape and body work, but a visual designer laid out the look and materials composing the car’s interior. So, a car is a work of art – a creative and individual statement.
That was the message Ford was out to send when it pitched in to New York City’s massive Fashion Week Activities as the sponsor of the StyleCaster Media Group’s State of Style Summit in Tribeca.
The summit united industry leaders and tastemakers to discuss the relationship between style and design, consumer purchase behavior and trends in the digital age. As their VIP on the spot, Ford offered Senior Interior Designer Anthony Prozzi, formerly a top menswear designer for Donna Karan. Now, Prozzi designs the carefully crafted interiors of Ford cars, like the featured vehicle for this event, the 2013 Ford Fusion.
After his onstage presentation, Prozzi met with Crave Online to discuss the intersection between cars and fashion.
“Whether we’re designers or writers – any sort of artist, what we do is present a message,” Prozzi said. “What’s the story of the creation?”
“I’ve said before, what’s the point of a dress – or a car – if no one is going to react to it and wear it, drive it or use it. That’s why we create.”
“What we’ve done at Ford as designers is look at the trends of each decade to see how those trends fed the next decade,” Prozzi added. “And we look at the 2010s as a time of access and personalization. That makes designers and artists accountable to the consumer for what they’re doing. What is their purpose? What is their meaning?”
“In designing for Ford, we look to fashion for trends because fashion is and has always been a great indicator of what’s next. For example, the concept Ford Evos is intended as the couture version of where the Ford Fusion is headed. That helps to set up Ford’s overall design DNA – our aesthetic.”
Prozzi explained that the goal for Ford is to create an immediately and easily identifiable look. Just as a fashion lover can tell this designer from that designer, Ford works to establish a very clear design aesthetic across all of their vehicles. As soon as somebody sees us, we want them to say, “That’s a Ford.”
A look at the 2013 Ford Fusion line reveals some of those design ideals. The distinct grill. The air intakes under the car’s nose. The warm colors of the interior. The constant presence of recycled and green materials in the car’s fabrics. And that look and construction is being deliberately replicated around the world in all Ford models and their international spinoffs.
“Frankly, that’s something we’re thankful to the internet for at Ford,” Prozzi said. “By bringing the world together and making it global community, we’re able to create an international design aesthetic. The Ford that these people will see in New York will offer the same visual stimulation that any Ford will globally.”