Shinola has become the latest lifestyle brand to work with a major automaker to deliver a concept vehicle that reflects its own sensibilities in the skin of an iconic vehicle.
The Detroit-based maker of watches, bikes, leather goods and other lifestyle items worked with Ford designers to deliver a Shinola version of the large Lincoln Aviator SUV that touches many aspects of the Shinola brand and brands. design sensitivities.
“Two iconic Detroit brands have come together to collaborate on something which is design and art,” Shannon Washburn, CEO of Shinola, told me. “Very early on, we felt that there was a common passion for well-designed, quality products. We have some kind of affordable luxury American and utility fees. [Ford designers] came away inspired by our details, and they were able to incorporate many of them into the concept vehicle. “
Lincoln’s global design director Kemal Curic told me that “With Shinola it was very clear to us that we shared a passion for well-designed and beautifully designed products. We are on the same page. In addition, this concept vehicle also supports Lincoln’s global design ethic today of creating a “sanctuary” inside its vehicles for its demanding customers.
With Lincoln, Shinola designed a conceptual version of the Aviator, with padding seams reminiscent of the Shinola brand “stripe”; a white exterior color that matches a favorite shade of Shinola watch faces; rose gold trim applications reminiscent of the copper-plated coin Shinola attaches to the saddle of her Runwell bike; and even leather with Shinola’s trademark whiskey scent.
“It was inspiring for us to be able to bring this [scent] in the automotive world, ”said Curic. You feel it and feel it. It’s a soothing and familiar scent. It is very elegant and tailor-made. This is something that can be found in the best handbag leather goods.
The two brands presented the Lincoln Aviator Shinola concept vehicle last month at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California. Curic said the crowd “were impressed with the craftsmanship, with the meticulous attention to detail.” He said that all thinking about making production Shinola Aviator models is underway, “but we have received a lot of positive feedback so far.”