Lincoln’s Aviator SUV References Shinola’s Signature Designs
Fresh off their 115 piece collaboration with Crate & Barrel, Detroit design brand Shinola is teaming up with the cream of its automotive crop. The custom Lincoln Aviator SUV draws inspiration from Shinola’s iconic leather silhouettes, Canfield Sport watch, and Runwell bicycle.
After a visit to Shinola’s flagship showroom in Detroit, Lincoln designers set out to explore the brand’s popular lifestyle products on display, then found ways to incorporate compelling design elements into a unique theme. The result is an Aviator concept that blends the design principles of Lincoln with the modern aesthetic of Shinola. “Shinola opened up their showroom to us as a playground, allowing us to explore how their brand’s lifestyle ethos could be woven into a new theme for one of our vehicles,” Lincoln design director Kemal Curic says. “After our initial meeting with the Lincoln team, it was clear we shared the same passion for well-designed, beautifully crafted products,” Shinola CEO Shannon Washburn continues. “Designers from both brands came together to create an ultra-luxe vehicle that still embodies Shinola’s aesthetic of approachable luxury with thoughtful details.”
The soft white exterior is inspired by Shinola’s signature mother of pearl stone watch dials, with hints of blue. Copper accents, which reference the copper-plated structure that attaches to a Shinola Runwell bike seat, give off a rose-gold hue. The seats feature crème suede that beautifully matches the inserts, brightening up the cabin and giving off a pearl hue that mimics the exterior color. Taking cues from the Shinola brand stripe, a woven textile sewn into the seats in all three rows makes for a unique, textural look. Liam Butler, Lincoln color and material designer, says he took each stitch of the original stripe and scaled them to proportion, adding a tone that acknowledges Lincoln’s many signature blues. “The goal is to impress occupants with our very own expression of craftsmanship, showcasing our meticulous attention to detail,” said Butler. “This stripe is unlike anything I’ve ever seen sewn into a vehicle, so we wanted to make sure it was done with care.” The instrument panel highlights the importance of texture. Woven metal mesh, which also appears on the second-row console, imparts industrial luxury with the same copper accents as the exterior—a direct representation of a Shinola watch band.
Lincoln recently displayed the Aviator concept at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The design team also created and showcased a full-sized replica of one of the four student concepts at The Quail as part of this year’s Monterey Car Week events.
The concept, Anniversary, is a four-passenger sedan that leverages its digital technology to enable its passengers to connect the present and the past. To bring their animation to life, students at Pasadena’s ArtCenter College of Design in California imagined two people celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary setting out to revisit some favorite spots. As they reminisce, their Lincoln sedan accesses digital images of the past and display their memories on the dashboard.
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