New York Fashion Week provided the backdrop of the fourth theme for Mercedes-Benz’ #WeWonder manifesto with Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, founders of Opening Ceremony, and their theme, “ Journey”.
The innovative and progressive design duo partnered with renowned drag artist Sasha Velour to create their spring 2019 fashion show on Sunday, 9th September. This was followed by a panel discussion on Monday,
10th September hosted by the trio who explored and discussed in depth their theme “Journey.”
Together, Lim, Leon and Velour explored their own personal and professional journeys and how they’ve reached this point in their lives. As Lim explains, “you constantly need to take stock of where you are, at every step, because these are all the things that accumulate to help navigate you to the future”. The event, entitled “The Gift of Showz,” featured special guests and was a live spectacle celebrating the art of drag - both in New York and around the world.
The event took place at Le Poisson Rouge, the famed Bleecker Street venue which states its mission as reviving the “symbiotic relationship between art and revelry” and the establishment of “a creative asylum for both artists and audiences.” After the performance, the space was transformed into an exploratory afterparty where guests explored the #WeWonder concept for themselves, offering an opportunity to consider their own journeys and ambitions for the future.
"We are excited to continue our partnership with Mercedes-Benz and #WeWonder for our show and afterparty this season. Sasha Velour is someone we admire not only for her unmatched craft, but her desire to break boundaries and spread a message of inclusivity. We can't wait to see how the performance we've created together will resonate with her fans and our community around the world beyond the event." Humberto Leon & Carol Lim, founders of Opening Ceremony.
Since its inception in 2002, Opening Ceremony (so named in homage to the Olympics, and the concept of bringing people together) has stood for diversity, inclusiveness and innovation, which makes the designers a perfect partner for the #WeWonder project. Lim and Humberto’s irreverent take on fashion comes from their experience of American culture through the eyes of children with immigrant parents. Lim and Leon met as like-minded students at the University of California, and bonded over an obsession with the cultural ephemera that surrounded them from an early age, after both working in corporate roles for some time, they partnered to launch the multi-label boutique which would bring the world’s coolest labels to their store in SoHo, New York. Further outposts have followed in Los Angeles and Tokyo, and Opening Ceremony has also developed as its own apparel and accessories collection.
Their partner in the #WeWonder venture, Sasha Velour, is a similarly original voice in the modern cultural landscape. Well-known for winning Ru Paul’s Drag Race Series 9, Velour is an innovative artist and creative director, and produces the successful cult Brooklyn monthly drag show Nightgowns.
Together with Mercedes-Benz and the series of #WeWonder activations, the trio added to the growing #mbcollective by creating their own. Their voices aim to break down gender stereotypes, by leading an “ultimate Queer collective”; an assembly of leading personas from art, fashion, music and culture in order to amplify the message of people without labels.
The #WeWonder Fashion Story
At #WeWonder, the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Story brings seven international visionaries together who innovatively and inspiringly explore the potentials of the future together. A future for which Mercedes-Benz is following a comprehensive concept within the EQ brand family, which also includes the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQ. The #mbcollective Fashion Story brings Slick Woods together with the social activist Kimberly Drew, designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon (opening ceremony), the artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist, Hypebeast founder Kevin Ma and the musician Solange Knowles. These global visionaries from different sectors jointly develop a vision driven by confidence, inspiration and creativity. Each of these visionaries conducts a discourse on a provocative and at the same time essential topic.
The #WeWonder manifesto
Nobody knows how exactly the future will develop, but fashion has its ways of formulating important questions concerning our dealings with each other. So how will the fashion world as a whole respond to this future and the future of mobility? How can fashion create a platform to explore our potential? The #WeWonder manifesto will use numerous digital channels (@MercedesBenzFashion on Instagram) to communicate with the numerous voices in the fashion world and examine this question.
CASE stands for the future of mobility: (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared & Services) and electric drive systems (Electric). It makes the vehicle a third living space alongside the home and work, one which we can shape as we wish thanks to the time newly saved. But what does this mean with reference to the fashion world? The journey to work could be redefined, for example as the time of the morning when we get dressed, i.e. the self-driving car of the future could be transformed into a mobile dressing room. The time thus saved would give us unlimited potential possibilities.
The #WeWonder electrostars: four Mercedes-Benz components, one vision
Just as clothing acts as a means of self-presentation and trends embody the cultural peculiarities of an era, the new Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 4MATIC (combined power consumption: 22.2 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km, provisional figures) which made its worldwide premier this month in Stockholm will define mobility in the rapidly evolving digital age where the future is now and the EQ moves from being a concept into a reality. As a sporty SUV crossover, the Concept EQ has e-aesthetics of its own which it combines with the Mercedes-Benz brand values of intelligence and emotion. The Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrid models form an important bridge on the way to electric mobility. The current plug-in hybrid models are marketed as Mercedes-Benz EQ Power: from the C-Class to SUV models. The fully electric smart vision EQ fortwo embodies a new vision of urban mobility and of individualised, highly flexible and ultra-efficient urban public transport with its carsharing concept. Mercedes-Benz vehicles are looking into a future characterised by the potential of shared use, sustainability and networked mobility.
23 years of Mercedes-Benz fashion activities
Over 23 years Mercedes-Benz has established itself worldwide as a major player and title sponsor of selected fashion weeks and events. The brand is currently involved in more than 40 countries all over the world, including for example the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weeks in Berlin, Istanbul and Sidney, as well as the acclaimed International Festival of Fashion and Photography in Hyères. Moreover, Mercedes-Benz has particularly made a name for itself with its support for talented young designers.
Follow Mercedes-Benz Fashion on social media:
Instagram: @MercedesBenzFashion, @carollim, @humberto, @openingceremony, @Saintrecords, @Slickwoods, @Hansulrichobrist, @kevinma, @museummammy
Hashtag: #MercedesBenzFashion, #WeWonder, #switchtoEQ
 Figures for power consumption and CO2 emissions are provisional and were determined by the German Technical Service Corporation. EC type approval and conformity certification with official figures are not yet available. There may be differences between the stated figures and the official figures.