Palm Springs in California provided the framework for the presentation of the second chapter in the Mercedes-Benz #WeWonder manifesto with the model Slick Woods and her theme of “Youth”. Slick Woods and other opinion leaders came together on Saturday, 14 April for discussions and to experience the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQ live.
“What if I told you that you define beauty?” This is the question Slick Woods asked her followers at the beginning of their discourse for the #WeWonder manifesto in February this year. From there the subject of Youth was explored further in Palm Springs, as a motivation for challenging design to be a form of self-expression for your style and your personal values. Woods’ vision for the future: confidently asserting your own personality, even if this breaks with convention. She herself is the best example of this approach. With her numerous tattoos, shaved head and the prominent gap between her two front teeth, she breaks all the rules of beauty as postulated in the fashion world. As a representative of a new generation of free-thinkers who are not shy of breaking barriers, she has made a career of her individuality as a model, is booked by major fashion houses and is now a role model for many women.
In Palm Springs, “Slick Woods Unplugged” provided an authentic picture of what young opinion-leaders expect of the future, and in what direction their style is developing. Woods discussed youth in fashion and music, and how she imagines the mobility of the future, with the fashion journalist Caroline Issa from TANK magazine and the up-and-coming musicians Lion Babe and SOSUPERSAM. In this collaborative discussion the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQ was also a central topic. “I chose to focus on Youth but don’t get it twisted. I don’t just mean the young, I mean the spirit and attitude of youthful rebellion. Challenging what’s come before, so we can move forward. We want fashion & design that represents our personalities and the future that we want to see; EQ represents that future: sustainable and connected.”
The participants were able to experience this new, fully electric form of mobility for themselves during exclusive test drives in the Californian desert.
Inspired by the intensive exchange of views on new topics, the live performances and DJ set of Lion Babe and SOSUPERSAM and the EQ experience, participants then recorded their impressions and emotions on a glass creative wall. The result was a collation of statements, sketches and ideas that reflect thoughts behind the #WeWonder manifesto – which brings creative progressive thinkers from a wide range of sectors together for a visionary dialogue.
The #WeWonder Fashion Story
At #WeWonder, the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Story brings seven international visionaries together who innovatively and inspiringly explore the potentials of the future together. A future for which Mercedes-Benz is following a comprehensive concept within the EQ brand family, which also includes the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQ. The #mbcollective Fashion Story brings Slick Woods together with the social activist Kimberly Drew, designersCarol Lim and Humberto Leon (opening ceremony), the artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist, Hypebeast founder Kevin Ma and the musician Solange Knowles. These global visionaries from different sectors jointly develop a vision driven by confidence, inspiration and creativity. Each of these visionaries conducts a discourse on a provocative and at the same time essential topic.
Nobody knows how exactly the future will develop, but fashion has its ways of formulating important questions concerning our dealings with each other. So how will the fashion world as a whole respond to this future and the future of mobility? How can fashion create a platform to explore our potential? The #WeWonder manifesto will use numerous digital channels (@MercedesBenzFashion on Instagram) to communicate with the numerous voices in the fashion world and examine this question.
CASE stands for the future of mobility: (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared & Services) and electric drive systems (Electric). It makes the vehicle a third living space alongside the home and work, one which we can shape as we wish thanks to the time newly saved. But what does this mean with reference to the fashion world? The journey to work could be redefined, for example as the time of the morning when we get dressed, i.e. the self-driving car of the future could be transformed into a mobile dressing room. The time thus saved would give us unlimited potential possibilities.
The #WeWonder electrostars: four Mercedes-Benz components, one vision
Just as clothing acts as a means of self-presentation and trends embody the cultural peculiarities of an era, the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQ will define mobility in the rapidly evolving digital age. As a sporty SUV crossover, the Concept EQ has e-aesthetics of its own, which it combines with the Mercedes‑Benz brand values of intelligence and emotion. The Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrid models form an important bridge on the way to electric mobility. The current plug-in hybrid models are marketed as Mercedes-Benz EQ Power: from the C-Class to SUV models. The fully electric smart vision EQ fortwo embodies a new vision of urban mobility and of individualised, highly flexible and ultra-efficient urban public transport with its carsharing concept. Mercedes-Benz vehicles are looking into a future characterised by the potential of shared use, sustainability and networked mobility.