If Gorden Wagener’s vision comes true, the very richest among us will be able to descend from the heavens and onto the tarmac in their Mercedes-Benz jet, hop out to the Hamptons in their Mercedes-Benz helicopter, get picked up by their Mercedes-Benz limo, and be able to finish the day off–so exhausting!–lounging at home, cozy with a G&T and lounging on their Mercedes-Benz furniture.
Wagener is the fresh-faced, 42-year old head of “strategic advanced design” at Merc, and he’s been tasked to expand the company’s design equity as part of a newly launched “sub-brand” called Mercedes-Benz Style. Already, they’ve designed concepts for furniture, helicopters, and yachts.
Wagener just gave an interview with Wallpaper* about the new brand–and it’s interesting to hear from him how Style differs from the most obvious competitor–BMW’s DesignWorksUSA (which was just recently one of our Most Innovative Companies).
Will Style operate in a similar way to BMW’s product design arm?
We are not profit oriented. Of course we will make money from this, otherwise there is no point to it, but DesignWorks has to make its own revenue, and actually quite a lot. You then have to take all the jobs, and this is exactly what we don’t want to do.
“Not profit oriented.” Must be nice, huh? But we get what Wagener has an idea perhaps broader than DesignWorks, which would farm out BMW’s design talent–so that they could sustainably maintain a large design studio, filled with fresh ideas. Benz, however, is approaching the design efforts as a part of the company’s external branding. It is hard to say which is the savvier move. Would you rather have more design cred–and perhaps more design expertise than you might have otherwise–or better marketing of your design?
The interior of Benz Style’s concept helicopter.