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Citroën redefines the large family car with the C5 X

Filed by Jack Yan/April 13, 2021/22.02





William Crozes/Continental Productions

Is this the future of the CD- and D-segment family car? Citroën has unveiled its C5 X, the third generation (if you don’t count the C5 Aircross) of the C5 line, blending saloon, estate and SUV ideas.
   Sales of conventional saloons and estates in this segment have been dropping for some time. Ford has already said it will not replace the Mondeo after 2022, bringing to an end a line that could be traced back to the Consul Cortina of 1962. There have been suggestions that Opel, Citroën’s sister brand, will replace the Insignia with a crossover, possibly a car closely related to this one.
   The lines are certainly more blurred with the C5 X. Traditionally, a crossover would have meant something like a Subaru Forester, a station wagon format more raised than a traditional car, but lower than an SUV. Here Citroën takes influences from numerous genres. It is a sleek, two-box shape, that if viewed without the 19-inch wheels, could be taken to be a shooting brake, an estate car with less loading capacity because of a sloping rear—think Mercedes-Benz CLS or even the Audi Q8. The six-light glasshouse even recalls Robert Opron’s Citroën CX (and specifically the CXperience concept of 2016), which no doubt will please Citroënistas. Up front are thin LED headlights that give a V shape when lit, a Citroën design signature that started with the 2020 C4. The bespoilered rear deck emphasizes that this isn’t a regular estate; curiously, when viewed from some front three-quarter angles, the D-pillar looks upright, and even recalls the outgoing C5 break.
   Happily, the C5 X has an airy glasshouse, doing away with the massive C-pillars that have plagued car design for a decade. This helps with bringing light in, while also aiding visibility. One can only hope that it is the beginning of the end of the cocoon, which may have emerged in times of great uncertainty, where people wanted to feel enveloped and secure. If Citroën’s trend-watchers have it right, we might come to feel more open and embracing of the outside world again.
   Those 19-inch wheels raise the car’s stance, but in an age where the crossover and the SUV are not niche vehicles, but mainstream ones, they do not look oversized. Interestingly, Citroën’s French rival Renault may have contributed to that, with intentionally large wheels for the Scénic and Espace, with a similar philosophy of blending genres with an eye to courting mainstream SUV buyers who want a more commanding driving position. More opportunity, then, for a future designer to claim a successor is ‘lower, wider, longer’, the romance of postwar US design.
   Its sleekness is perhaps only compromised by the transverse front-wheel-drive layout, which necessitates the position of the front wheels, a design compromise evident on the Citroën C6 in China, but better hidden here. One might think that Citroën has gone adventurous here—though not to the level of the DS—because of its recent poor sales in China. When in doubt, design your way out—it worked for Chrysler and its LH sedans in the 1990s.
   Under the skin is active suspension, with Citroën claiming (not for the first time in its history) a “magic carpet” ride. There are what the company calls its Progressive Hydraulic Cushions that relax the suspension more. Handling isn’t the top priority here, having an interior that’s lounge-like and floating is.
   The interior emphasizes width (externally the car measures 1,865 mm in this respect, which is probably typical for a grand routier of this age). Citroën says its Advanced Comfort seats are particularly capacious in the second row, while the boot has a 545 l capacity. There’s more refinement, the company points out, with the plug-in hybrid version running in pure-electric mode, which it can do for 50 km, up to 135 km/h. Acoustic-laminated front and rear windows keep things insulated further.
   There is a head-up display that Citroën says is a step toward augmented reality, driving assistance features, a new infotainment interface powered through a 12-inch central touchscreen, voice recognition, and a customizable display. Safety systems use the radar, cameras and sensors. There is level 2 autonomous driving, with Highway Driver Assist, using the adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go and lane-keep assistance. And as one would expect in 2021, rear cross-traffic alert, a 360-vision display that plots the area around the car on the touchscreen to aid man, and hands-free access.—Jack Yan, Founder and Publisher





William Crozes/Continental Productions

 


Cole Haan launches fashionable golf footwear collections for spring ’21

Filed by Lucire staff/April 1, 2021/13.47




As a company that believes in accessible style, Cole Haan has launched its first golf footwear collection, débuting for spring 2021 and available now.
   There are three collections with names that Danes might balk at, as Cole Haan takes a character out of their alphabet for stylistic reasons and not pronounciation ones: ØriginalGrand, GrandPrø and Generation Zerøgrand. They link to what Cole Haan calls its Grand 36∅ Design and Engineering System.
   The shoes are spikeless and weatherproof, and aim to have good fit.
   David Maddocks, brand president of Cole Haan, said, ‘With more people golfing than ever, Cole Haan set out to democratize the game. Our customers have asked us for years to make performance golf shoes, however we knew we couldn’t simply offer something on par with the market-place. We believe we’ve set a new standard with an alchemy that combines superior performance, long-lasting comfort, and confident style that goes straight to the clubhouse. We have written new rules when it comes to both men’s and women’s golf footwear.’
   The range includes the ØriginalGrand golf shoe, which has an Oxford look; while the GrandPrø AM golf sneaker has a sneaker style with a variety of prints. These are available in men’s and women’s sizing. The Generation Zerøgrand golf sneaker, exclusive to men, blends athletic and dress shoe æsthetics.
   Chief creative officer Scott Patt added, ‘Golfers need comfortable, supportive, and stylish footwear that performs on and off the course. ‘We’re excited to introduce an assortment of styles that are exceptionally lightweight, cushioned, and are engineered with proprietary multi-directional traction that takes golfers from the course to the clubhouse.’
   Prices range from US$140 to US$170, and the collection is available through colehaan.com, in select Cole Haan stores, and Golf Galaxy and Dick’s Sporting Goods.


 


Zalando’s spring 2021 campaign champions body positivity and broadens views on gender

Filed by Lucire staff/March 22, 2021/12.28






Dan Beleiu

Zalando, the online fashion platform HQed in Berlin, has launched its spring 2021 campaign, Here to Stay, championing diversity, inclusion and the empowerment of women, hoping to inspire and encourage people to broaden their views on gender fluidity and body positivity.
   Launched on Sunday, March 21, the campaign has been shot by Dan Beleiu, featuring real-life pairings. Each image has a statement complemented by the sentence, ‘Here to stay,’ e.g. ‘Sustainability. Here to stay,’ or ‘Acceptance. Here to stay.’ There is also an accompanying film directed by Terence Neale and Emilie Badenhorst, featuring dancer and model Luc Bruyere, Yann Horowitz, an openly gay skateboarder, and body positivity advocate, Yolisa Mqoco. The film’s soundtrack is written and produced by queer British rapper Mista Strange, who also appears.
   ‘This campaign is a celebration of values which are at the core of Zalando, specifically embracing diversity and inclusivity,’ said Barbara Daliri, the company’s senior VP of sales and marketing. ‘These values and the stories of real people matter a lot to us and allow us to engage with our diverse customers. Our values are intrinsic to who we are and how we work: Zalando actively supports an inclusive corporate culture with employees from 130 countries. Last year, we published the Do.Better Diversity and Inclusion Report, laying out our long-term commitment to change towards our employees, partners and customers. This spring initiative further underlines our ambition to be the starting point for fashion for everyone.’
   Anomaly Berlin was the creative agency for the campaign.




 


Reebok, Banana Republic and GMSV mark International Women’s Day

Filed by Lucire staff/March 7, 2021/23.20


Reebok has a campaign called It’s a Man’s World, but with the words struck out, for its International Women’s Day promotion, created by the all-female creative collective Madwomen. Four sneakers in two collections are promoted—the Club C Double, Classic Leather Double, Legacy 83 and Zig Kinetica. The first collection features the sneakers with multiple colours and silhouettes, representing the different facets of a woman; the second shows neutral-toned footwear, representing a clean slate to which a woman can bring her uniqueness.
   The Berlin-based collective has chosen to feature locals: model and stylist Isi Ahmed; make-up artist and photographer Aennikin, and stylist Elli Drake, who styled the campaign.
   The first collection is available from today, and the second from April 1, at reebok.com, priced from US$90.

Banana Republic is celebrating International Women’s Day with its campaign on women who break boundaries, entitled Work Where?. Directed in-house by Banana Republic’s Len Peltier, the campaign shows a montage of videos of real women doing modern work—wearing Banana Republic, of course.
   Subjects include Grammy-nominated recording artist Saint Sinner, recording artist Goapele, street artist Apexer, actor Jimmie Fails, photographer Grady Brannan, real estate developer Mari Swim, executive Todd Palmerton, café owner Lea Sabado, entrepreneur Jamal Blake-Williams, and social media manager Halee Edwards. Movement artist Jon Boogz and screenwriter and artist Chinaka Hodge return for the campaign.
   The company will also make a US$100,000 donation to CARE to help fight poverty, and advance women and girls around the world.

It’s refreshing to see that GMSV (General Motors Specialty Vehicles) has women leading the business in Australasia (Joanne Stogiannis, director; Jodie Lennon, general manager marketing, customer experience and communications; and Dahlia Shnider, vehicle supply chain and systems’ manager) as well as 45 per cent female representation in the wider team. And, of course, General Motors itself is led by Mary Barra, who broke the glass ceiling when appointed CEO of one of the largest car manufacturers in the world in 2014 and has a commitment to diversity.
   ‘It is common knowledge that the auto industry is skewed heavily towards male representation, so it’s incredibly heartening we’re making gains in changing this balance, albeit as part of a relatively small team,’ said Stogiannis.
   Stogiannis is a GM veteran of 25 years and recalls when she was one of the only women in the room when she started.

 


Bridgerton’s Phoebe Dynevor models Self-Portrait’s autumn–winter 2021–2 collection

Filed by Lucire staff/February 24, 2021/11.50



Nigel Shafran/Self-Portrait

Bridgerton’s Phoebe Dynevor is the face of Self-Portrait’s autumn–winter 2021–2 collection, photographed by Nigel Shafran.
   Given the UK’s difficulties with COVID-19, Self-Portrait forged on with showing its key looks with a more down-to-earth campaign, rather than a traditional fashion show, opting to photograph at Dynevor’s home in London. The aim was to capture a day at home with Dynevor, ‘finding joy in simplicity and solitude’.
   Malaysian-born Han Chong, Self-Portrait’s founder and creative director, noted, ‘As I was designing this latest collection, I was thinking a lot about the British sensibility and that effortless approach to British style, which I am so often inspired by. I felt we needed to work with someone to bring this to life rather than present the collection in a traditional show format, and having captured the hearts and imaginations of so many people over the last few months, I knew Phoebe would be the perfect woman. The moment I met her, I loved how down-to-earth she was whilst still having this incredible spirit and energy that perfectly emulates the attitude and values of the Self-Portrait brand. She is warm, independent, sensitive, expressive and completely captivating. It’s been a real joy getting to know and work with Phoebe and I’m incredibly excited to have her on this journey with us.’
   Dynevor added, ‘I was delighted and honoured that Han chose me to work with him and such a talented team on his latest collection. I first spotted one of his dresses on a photo shoot and it was an instant love affair. Han’s collections for Self-Portrait have always been an inspiration, I love the strong structures he creates from such delicate and stunning fabrics and this collection is a testament to his incredible work. I’m so proud to be a part of this new project and hope to have a chance to wear the pieces when life goes back to normal again!’
   Chong creative-directed the campaign, and was joined by Marie Chaix as stylist, Isamaya Ffrench on make-up, and Gary Gil on hair.
   The season sees a reworking of Self-Portrait’s staples, as well as new, relaxed styles, with an emphasis on simplicity and lightweight fabrics. Dresses, knitwear, cardigans and jumpers form part of the collection, in fabrics ranging from organic cotton to recycled polyester chiffon.
   Self-Portrait uses responsibly sourced fibres and began introducing organic cotton and recycled chiffon and polyester in 2019. Last year it introduced recycled viscose.
   The collection will begin retailing in July, both online at self-portrait-studio.com, and offline at Self-Portrait stores (including flagship stores in London, New York, Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Shenzhen and Taipei), and select retailers.

 


Hublot releases a limited edition of 50 Big Bang Tourbillion Automatic Orange Sapphire watches

Filed by Lucire staff/January 27, 2021/8.59


The luxury watches in our ‘Year of the ox’ feature aren’t the only new releases for 2021. Hublot shows there’s still plenty of life in the skeleton look, and it’s showing off a new tourbillon movement (which is self-winding) along with a new colour, in its new Big Bang Tourbillion Automatic Orange Sapphire, limited to 50 pieces.
   Hublot has used more sapphire in the movement, with three sapphire bridges (the barrel bridge, an automatic bridge, and a tourbillon barrette). The movement is designed in-house, with a self-winding mechanism designed to last 72 hours, using ceramic ball bearings and other innovations. The orange shade is a first for through-tinted sapphire, using titanium and chromium during manufacture.
   The grey micro-rotor is in 22 ct gold, and is set off by decoration that has been bevelled, sun ray-brushed and sand-blasted, while the skeleton work has been accentuated by sand-blasted platinum. It’s all in line with Hublot’s reputation in creating timepieces with cutting-edge materials, with its own metallurgy and materials’ laboratory.

 


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