Student designers from the world renowned Royal College of Art (RCA) in London have created a series of inspirational designs for women in a unique project with the famous British car company.
Seventeen fashion students spent the past few months immersing themselves in the work of Bentley’s leading designers, including Head of Interior Design Robin Page and Senior Designer Brett Boydell, to fulfill a design brief based on three travel products for women: a car coat – three-quarter length travel coat; Footwear – driving shoe; Weekend overnight bag.
Drawing on Bentley’s design heritage, the RCA students developed a set of striking, modern designs for women. The object was to design and make products that reflect Bentley’s position in the luxury sector and which pick up design cues from the new Bentley Continental GT. Three of the RCA students have been shortlisted to refine their designs with Page and Boydell to produce prototypes for display at the end of the summer term.
They are Rebecca Thomson (car coat); Louise van Hauen (weekend bag) and Alvaro Gonzalez (driving shoes).
Rebecca Thomson, 23, from Southport, England, said: “For my coat design I wanted to capture the spirit of the Bentley woman. The final design reflects Bentley's traditions through a more conservative washed silk cloth, mixed with the modern innovation of the developing Bentleys using a waterproof sports fabric. The lining of the coat is quilted for comfort and style, mirroring the beauty and fine detail of the Bentley interior. Like a Bentley exterior, the outer coat is simple, sleek and elegant using the lines to effectively frame the body.” Alvaro Gonzalez, 29, from Spain, said: “With my design I wanted to rethink a driving shoe and its shape, taking the essence of a court shoe and encapsulate it in rubber to achieve a visually effective design as well as a well functioning product. I looked into shapes from Bentley cars to create my shoe, but I abstracted and resized these shapes to create something new out of a Bentley root.”
Louise van Hauen, 27, from Copenhagen, Denmark, said: “The mood for this project is a mix between a romantic 1950s ride on the Riviera and casual contemporary luxury. With reference to classic luggage yet finished with modern details and materials, my goal was to design a product that respects both the heritage and presence of Bentley. “My final design is a two-part product: first a soft leather bag with padded corners and hand-stitched details - such as logo on front and handle seams. Second, a carbon fiber case with wheels and trolley handle that closes around - and contains - the soft bag. The concept being that the wearer can change a shoulder bag into a piece of luggage."