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Future driven - Mercedes-Benz EQ brand and #WeWonder
Mercedes-Benz launches the next stage of its #mbcollective fashion story, entitled #WeWonder, a manifesto, which brings together seven of the world’s most innovative and inspiring visionaries to dream about the potentiality of the future.
A future in which Mercedes-Benz is pursuing a holistic approach as part of the EQ brand family which includes the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQ, presented as an integral part of our everyday lives. This #mbcollective - featuring designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist, Hypebeast founder Kevin Ma, writer, curator and social activist Kimberly Drew, fashion model Slick Woods and musician Solange Knowles - marks the next step in Mercedes-Benz’ global fashion engagement.
These visionaries, who hail from all over the world and specialize in different disciplines, came together for a roundtable to create a vision of the future driven by hope, inspiration and imagination, in combination with the future of mobility. Each one will lead a conversation on a provocative and impactful topic, creating a dynamic manifesto that aims to inspire rather than instruct.
Just how this future will unravel, no one knows, but fashion has a knack of surfacing pertinent questions about how we interact with one another. So how will fashion respond to this future and the future of mobility overall? How can fashion provide a platform to discuss our potential? The #WeWonder manifesto will use myriad digital channels (Instagram @MercedesBenzFashion) to communicate with the many voices of the fashion industry to explore these questions.
The future of mobility will be Connected, Autonomous, Shares & Service and Electric (CASE) wherein travelling will turn us all into passengers afforded a new freedom: time. In fashion terms, what does this mean? Commuting to work could be redefined as the moment in the morning that we get dressed, turning the car of the future into a mobile wardrobe for example. Unencumbered by the process of driving, how we use this new time has unlimited potential.
The live and unscripted roundtable discussion, an exploration and deep dive into each visionary’s personal manifesto theme was moderated by fashion writer and publisher Caroline Issa and took place in London on 7 February 2018. It is testament to Mercedes-Benz’ innovative and digital approach to the future of mobility. It confirms the authenticity of the project by creating messaging with veracity and integrity and takes on the most pressing themes with total transparency.
The visionaries individual themes and content will be released throughout 2018 through a series of global events, appearances and digital activations. Kimberly Drew will unveil her theme and the accompanying content in March 2018, followed by a panel discussion which will take place at the me Convention area during SXSW in Austin, Texas on March 10/11th.
Their seven visionaries together generated a vision of the future driven by hope, inspiration and imagination. They are seeking neither utopia nor dystopia, but rather an image of what could be humanly possible.
Carol Lim and Humberto Leon
Carol Lim and Humberto Leon have been guiding contemporary fashion trends since founding Opening Ceremony in 2002, a New York retail destination that’s evolved into a global cultural hub for fashion, entertainment and creative innovators. In 2011, Lim and Leon were appointed creative directors at French fashion house KENZO, where they have successfully revitalized the brand for a youth-centric audience. Numerous accolades have followed the pair’s commercial and creative successes, and their interpretation of the future through #WeWonder is much anticipated.
Hans Ulrich Obrist
The Swiss curator and Artistic Director of London’s Serpentine Galleries has become one of the most recognized and respected curators in the world. He brings to the #WeWonder manifesto an unfaltering curiosity together with an enviable clarity of thought (as evidenced by his pithy and insightful Instagram notes) and a passion for conversation.
Kevin Ma’s story is one of taking a passion for sneakers and streetwear and turning it into a huge global platform: Hypebeast. Ma has captured and chronicled a Zeitgeist that is no longer a subculture but forms a considerable part of the luxury fashion narrative. A true entrepreneurial maverick, Ma’s ability to see opportunity where others can’t, will make him an invaluable contributor to the manifesto.
It’s rare that a 27-year-old makes the art world sit up and take notice but, that is exactly what New Jersey-born Kimberly Drew has done. Now very much part of New York City’s art scene, Drew’s art curation and writing is focused on dismantling the old structures of the art world and giving voice to the complicated intersection between race, tech and art.
In a fashion industry where newness and difference are the currencies of the day, Slick Woods is pure gold. The gap-toothed, shaven-headed, tattoo-covered model breaks all the tenets of conventional beauty and represents a new generation of boundary-breaking free-thinkers.
Solange Knowles is an artistic force to be reckoned with. Recently a 2017 recipient of the Glamour Woman of the Year Award, Solange is more than a recording artist and known as an activist and visual art luminary. In 2013, she launched her own record label, Saint Records, and in 2016 her third studio album “A Seat At The Table” debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart, Apple Music, and iTunes Overall Top Albums Charts. From performing her work for President Obama at the White House to her art performance at the Guggenheim Museum, Solange has invoked themes of identity, empowerment, grief and healing that have resonated with millions of voices that routinely feel silenced or overlooked. In addition, her performance art show at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, as well as her art installation at London’s Tate Modern museum have all led to a defining career of visual art and activism.
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