With an eye on the quick-drying properties that black paint offered the original Model T, Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford famously wrote that customers can choose any colour “so long as it is black.”
Ninety years has brought a lot of change to the auto industry – maybe none more than Ford’s approach to colour choice. Ford designers will be in Milan this week for Fashion Week to talk about the new B-MAX compact multi-activity vehicle, a car whose colours were inspired by the world of fashion, furniture and high-end gadgets.
“People like to feel great and look great, whether it’s wearing their favourite outfit or sitting behind the wheel of a car,” said Serife Celebi, colour and material design supervisor, Ford of Europe, who together with her team, closely-monitors the latest trends in colours, textures and patterns.
“Unlike fashion designers, we can’t present a new range every six months,” she added. “But we can make sure that our vehicles are completely in tune with contemporary tastes and styles, and remain so for years to come.”
B-MAX colours including Burnished Glow and Tectonic Silver embody the current trend towards subtle luxury, the feeling embodied by fashions from Gucci.
“Burnished Glow is reminiscent of a sunny autumn day, has a very natural, welcoming feel and echoes the colours we have been seeing at design shows like the Milan Furniture Fair,” said Celebi, who studied Textile Design before joining Ford’s colour and material group in 2000. Her passion for colour, textiles and design came from her family roots in Turkey where her grandmother created yarn from sheep’s wool to make carpets.
“Tectonic Silver blends silver with a warm hint of gold,” she added. “This is the kind of luxurious colour you might see on the catwalk in the collections of Versace or Miu Miu
The high series B-MAX Titanium models also feature a sophisticated pin-stripe cloth inspired by classic Savile Row tailoring, and modern interpretations by designers like Paul Smith.
“The embossed pattern allows us to create an exciting contrast between matt and shiny surfaces, which is a popular trend in sports clothing as well as men’s and women’s fashions,” said Celebi.
“We have also used contrasting textures to great effect with the smart high gloss black finish we use on the control panels and centre console. This was inspired by high-end gadgets and snowboards, creating a very modern and exclusive appearance.”
The All-New Ford B-MAX will appear at the Geneva Motor Show next month and goes on sale in Britain later in the year.