Ombré – or graduated/gradient color – took hold in a big way in fashion and furniture in 2013. While fashion blogs/trend agencies predict that ombré is out for 2014, in automotive design it’s just getting going.
Taking its lead from the latest Nike Flyknit Air Max trainers, we’re seeing ombré get bolder in the automotive space – and even mix with other trends. Manufacturers like Renault state that new manufacture techniques will allow it to create seats covers in an ombré fashion for production cars before long, but the big question is whether this goes big time – or like last season’s hair style – is simply a passing fad of a trend?
Nike FlyKnit AirMax
Nike’s ultra-light FlyKnit AirMax running shoe (pictured above) features the latest ultra-flexible material and technology to improve athletic performance. But the FlyKnit AirMax also includes a special ‘waffle sole’ highlighted in various ombré-style graduated colors.
Volkswagen T-ROC concept
Although the ombré style was most notable on the seat covers of VW’s coupe-cum-crossover T-ROC concept in Geneva, what caught our eye was how the treatment appeared for the first time on the IP and other plastic interior moldings.
Rather than spending money in an expensive way to create ‘authentic’ ombré, it was notable how Peugeot applied the trend via a sticker on its new 108 in Geneva. In fact, two trends collide here –the ‘houndstooth’ pattern is yet another recent trend.
Mini Clubman concept
Designers Scholten + Baijings collaborated with Mini in one of the more automotive exhibits at the Salone del Mobile in Milan two years ago. Mini’s designers were clearly influenced, revisiting this distinctive approach to color/materials on the interior of the Mini Clubman concept unveiled at the 2014 Geneva motor show.
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