clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

M.I.A.! Inside Jeremy Scott's Spectacular Smart Car Launch

New, 1 comment

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

All the cool kids turned up for the world premiere of Jeremy Scott's Smart design last night at Jim Henson Studios in Hollywood. Just in time for the LA Auto Show, the notoriously outré designer has unveiled a snazzy showcar for the German automotive company, which will be an actual production vehicle available for purchase next year—wings and all.

The intimate event featured a surprise performance by none other than M.I.A., who sported a bold look from the designer's Arabian-inspired spring 2013 collection. Auto buffs, fashion fiends and famous faces likes Liberty Ross, Leigh Lezark of The Misshapes and rapper A$AP Rocky went nuts when she performed hits like "Paper Planes" and "Bad Girls," which was the cue for Scott to drive his smart forjeremy whip onto the stage. After the grand reveal, Scott sat down with us to chat about the design process and his dream list of drivers.

This is a first for you, isn't it?
"Yes! I'm the first designer to ever change the shape of any car. It was such an amazing opportunity and I'm glad I got to do it with an iconic car like Smart. My hands were all over the process—I didn't just submit the sketch. I literally made the wing headlights out of tape and shaped and defined them. I wanted to do something completely transformative and worked directly with the sculpter to make my vision come to life."

What inspired the car's out-of-the-box design?
"I really wanted to play on the '50s hot rod idea but make it completely otherworldy. At first I was debating on whether to do it just white because I had so many ideas bouncing around, but eventually I decided to have the wings be the signature element, punctuated with a clean white interior and white chrome accents. I wanted it to be really shiny, too! Once we got certified to have the wings light up, I knew it was perfect."

How long was the design process?
"It took an entire year, so I've been looking forward to this moment for a very long time. It's been a very long, but exciting process. Cars aren't on a fashion schedule, you know!"

Besides timing, what are the differences between designing clothing and designing a car?
"Well, not having to worry about my design going on a human body was a whole new experience. I also had to make sure that the car not only looked good, but it could actually operate, too. It was a great learning experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat."

You have tons of famous friends. Who do you envision driving this car?
"Hmm, let's see. Probably Rihanna, Lana del Rey and Sky Ferreira. I'm not sure if Sky is old enough to drive yet, but I'll teach her! [Laughs]"

Where would they be going?
"Lana would be driving to Palm Springs. You'd just see desert, sand and rocks. I'd love to see Rihanna driving this car before jetting off in her G6. I can also see her driving it to dinner, shopping or meeting up with her girls."

What movie would this car be in?
"Blade Runner or A Clockwork Orange. It would look really cool inside the Korova Milk Bar."

Being an LA resident, where are some of your current favorite local haunts?
"My studio is right next to M Cafe de Chaya on Melrose, so I love going there since I'm vegetarian. Hugo's on Santa Monica Blvd is also one of my favorites. I like Cafe Gratitude on Larchmont, too—my favorite dish is called "I Am Humble."
· LA-Based Designer Jeremy Scott Took björk to Amoeba [Racked]
· Inside the Insane Jeremy Scott and Adidas Coachella Bash [Racked]