Mercedes-Benz has created Style, a new sub-brand dedicated to the design of luxury good outside automotive design. ‘We will create very selective luxury products in order to underline our image as a luxury maker and as a leading company in design,’ global design boss Gorden Wagener told us at the launch of Style.
The marque’s images has arguably suffered in recent years – no longer seen to be at the forefront of high-end design. Recent cars such as the SLS AMG which nods to the 50s iconic 300SL ‘Gullwing’, and the F800 Style and Shooting Break concept cars – the latter previews the anticipated CLS – are expressing a bolder, design-focused approach. The Style brand aims to get the message out even further.
Style will not be a stand-alone company at this stage. ‘When you make your own revenue, you have to take all jobs and this is exactly what we don’t want to do,’ said the designer.
Work will be carried out by the firm’s many satellite advanced design studios around the world, and product allocation will be geographically dependent. Style will function under the watchful eye of design director of the main advanced studio Steffen Köhl, but remains under the overall leadership of Wagener.
The selective clients will range from established manufactures of luxury goods to innovative, young companies and the occasional wealthy individual. The team will have strict control on whom they deal with and how their aesthetic input is interpreted.
Style will take on commissioned work, for which the rights to the styling service are sold to the product manufacturer, as well as the allocation of design licences where the manufacturer will be granted the right to use the styling, but all rights will remain with Mercedes.
‘We will work within a certain corridor which we will discuss with the client,’ stresses Wagener.
Depending on how complex the project is, the designers at Mercedes will work closely with more specialist designers and architects which is why the firm made the decision to name the new offshoot Style, rather than Design.
So far the team at Style have designed the interior of a helicopter, the exterior of a yacht and bespoke furniture. But to what degree is Mercedes willing to widen the sub-brand’s portfolio? ‘It almost depends on how special the project is,’ says Wagener.
Read our interview with Gorden Wagener published in Wallpaper*.
Car designers designing helicopters
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