Lotus Originals Fall/Winter 2011
May 11, 2011 Leave a comment
After a 15-year hiatus from Formula One racing, British sports car manufacturer Lotus made an emphatic return to F1 in 2010 securing an impressive team including drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli. Their return to F1 was celebrated with a tribute to Lotus heritage last June at the Classic Team Lotus Festival at Snetterton. On display, the company had an example of every Lotus F1 car that had raced between 1958 and 1994 (see video and photo below).
Sports car manufacturers use F1 to market their brand to a broad international audience. Naturally, lucrative merchandising deals follow. Whether licensed through a third-party or a collaborative effort with an established fashion brand, every sports car manufacturer offers something. Unfortunately, many of their ‘collections’ consist of cheap athletic wear plastered with oversized logos. Want a visual? Think divorced, pot bellied, balding, middle-aged men cruising around (alone) in their Corvettes with their gaudy Ferrari jackets over their gaudy Ferrari sweaters. Brutal.
There are exceptions, such as Porsche Design whose sunglasses, clothing, luggage, footwear, and electronics look amazing. You can now add Lotus Originals to that list as well. Reflecting the best of British understatement, authenticity, racing heritage, excellence in design, quality, engineering as well as innovation, Lotus has carefully hand picked the very best suppliers and materials to work with for the three lines of apparel and lifestyle accessories that carry the Lotus name. Take a look:
The “LOTUS ORIGINALS” line
The core line of the collection- aspirational and inviting familiarity, combining it with a casual relaxed approach. Inspired by the brand and playing with it in terms of colours and the interpretation of the LOTUS logo, using materials such as wool, cotton, cashmere and material mix for easy-to-wear effect.
The “LOTUS HERITAGE” line
Inspired by the glorious racing days and victories of the 60’s and 70s. With a glimpse to the era of Steve McQueen at LeMans, vintage details are discreetly integrated and add a unique touch to each item. The line features elements of iconic race cars, such as numbers or the famous stripes, creating a slight retro-look, playing with warmer, slightly washed out fabrics with soft vintage touch, smoother colours and integrating sophisticated details in leather. A masculine selection of cool apparel and elegant premium accessories, expanding over time to introduce new and limited lines.
The “LOTUS PERFORMANCE” line
Reflects the “engineering soul” of the Lotus brand and its technicity. A capsule range of highly functional sportswear, intelligently constructed to support all types of outdoor activities. Lightweight, seamless and sleek in design, ergonomic shapes with a masculine slant-uniquely developed for Lotus.
The “LOTUS LIFESTYLE” line
Lotus Originals offers a lifestyle accessories range along with its apparel. Apart from wallets and belts, hand-crafted luggage made from tan leather and light weight canvas are also part of the range.
“Our goal with the Lotus Originals concept was to create a range of apparel and accessories that really capture the true spirit of our iconic British brand,” says Wiebke Bauer, Director of Licensing and Merchandising for Lotus. “Lotus Originals isn’t just for traditional car enthusiasts, on some of the pieces the branding is very subtle allowing the style and quality to shine so we hope that it will appeal to a much broader audience. We have developed a collection that is luxurious in a classic, understated way so it is easy to wear every day yet still make you feel part of our very special brand.” There are some beautiful pieces in there including some incredible outerwear, snazzy polos and T-shirts, and a sophisticated luggage set. The Lotus Originals Fall/Winter 2011 Collection is available now online at www.lotusoriginals.com and a London flagship store is scheduled to open towards the end of 2011.