Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Hermès Fight Back Against Industrialized Luxury With Custom Rolls-Royce Duo
The world’s coolest couple just enlisted the craftiest carmaker and the results are nothing short of trendsetting. Marking the beginning of its ground-up Coachbuild program, the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail built for Beyoncé and Jay-Z—along with a custom Koa wood model for French fashion house Hermès—is redefining luxury product design.
The exterior of Rolls-Royce Boat Tail is swathed in a rich and complex tone of the Blue Ivy’s parent’s favorite color. The hue, with an overt nautical connotation, is subtle when in shadows but in sunlight, embedded metallic and crystal flakes bring a vibrant and energetic aura to the finish. To ensure the smoothest possible application when rendering the exterior, a finger was run over the definitive body line before the paint had fully dried to soften its edges. The wheels are finished in bright blue, highly polished and clear coated.
The project has been four years in development. Once the preliminary design proposal was penned by hand, hand-crafted manipulation of the expansive surfaces perfect its shape. Throughout this process, the couple were invited to envisage the scope of the collaboration and influence its direction. The body work was then completely hand crafted.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has also co-created a magnificent Bespoke Phantom in a unique collaboration with Hermès. Designed and handcrafted by a combined team of Bespoke specialists at the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood, West Sussex, and Hermès in Paris, Phantom Oribe reflects the personality and passions of its owner, Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa. The client envisioned the car as a “land jet,” bringing the serene exclusivity of private air travel to the road.
The car’s striking two-tone exterior matches the characteristic green and cream glazes of antique Japanese Oribe ware, of which Maezawa-san is a prominent collector. The upper part is finished in Oribe Green, a fully bespoke color created exclusively for the client; in an unusual move, Rolls-Royce has made the paint available for use on the client’s private jet the Phantom will be paired with. Developed over many months by specialists at the automakers Surface Finish Centre, it perfectly captures the lustrous, deep-green glaze that characterizes these 16th century ceramics. The effect is beautifully completed by the cream-white lower section.
The Oribe ware-inspired colorway harmoniously continues through the interior, created and realized between Hermès designers and craftspeople in Paris, and the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective of designers, engineers and craftspeople at their Goodwood headquarters in West Sussex, England.
The interior is finished predominantly in Hermès Enea Green leather, extending to details that include the immediate touch-points of the client; for example, the steering wheel, duchess handles, gear selector and the rotary controls for the motor car’s climate settings.
The Hermès leather flows around the upper instrument panel, interior pillars, and parcel shelf. It also enrobes less visible surfaces including the glove compartment and luggage compartment lining, center console, decanter stowage compartment and Champagne cooler. In a sign of the project’s truly collaborative nature, and the two makers’ mutual esteem, the glove compartment lid is embossed with the signature Habillé par Hermès Paris. Delicate Hermès piping adorns the headrest cushions and calf supports of the rear seats, while soft Seashell White accents and matching lambswool floor mats create a sense of light and space throughout.
The interior is also replete with examples of Rolls-Royce Bespoke design and hand craftsmanship. Wooden speaker frets, for example, are formed by meticulously perforating the Open Pore Royal Walnut veneer applied to the doors, creating a seamless, textured aesthetic and delicate haptics. Open Pore Royal Walnut is additionally applied to the center and rear consoles and picnic table backs; in another first for Rolls-Royce, the interior features Hermès ‘Toile H’ canvas on the door armrests, center and rear consoles and, most notably, the signature headliner.
Hermès brings its distinctive equestrian heritage and innovative craftsmanship know-how to the car, with the leather upholstery created using stitching and edge-painting techniques originally employed by master saddlers. For Phantom’s Gallery, a feature unique to Rolls-Royce, that runs the length of the motor car’s fascia, Hermès commissioned an artwork based on a design by the celebrated French artist and illustrator Pierre Péron (1905–1988) who created many of the House’s iconic scarves. The work, inspired by the famous Hermès horse motif, is hand-painted on Open Pore Royal Walnut and is presented as though staged in an art gallery, behind glass.