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Star runway photographer Dan Lecca takes a behind-the-scenes look at car design
Claiming its place alongside Milan, Paris and New York, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin has become a top new global fashion event. This is not only evident by the mounting number of top international fashion designers on its runways and the growing contingent of celebrities appearing on its red carpets. For the first time, American star photographer Dan Lecca has come to Berlin, as well. Regarded worldwide as the king of catwalk photography, Lecca is also the treasured resident photographer of several top designers, including Gucci, Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs.
Dan Lecca, a native-born Romanian, has had a front-row seat at the world’s most important fashion runways for decades. In his quest for top spot, he has also earned the reputation of a gentleman – which has made him a favourite among the models. “The secret of the winner shot is the perfect light, with the perfect walk, with the eyes looking straight into the camera and with a very graceful position of the body,” Dan Lecca explained. Yesterday, Lecca photographed amongst others the shows of Basso & Brooke, Smeilinener and Unrath & Strano.
A fusion of lifestyle and Mercedes-Benz design
As a runway photographer, Dan Lecca is at home in the world of sophisticated lifestyle and design. He therefore took some time in between shows to visit the Mercedes-Benz designo exhibit, and had a behind-the-scenes look at the carmaker. In the lobby of the event tent on Berlin’s Bebelplatz, Lecca encountered Mercedes-Benz designers presenting the designo programme. Using three different GLK seats as an example, they were demonstrating how various fashion and lifestyle trends are incorporated in the process of interior design. “Just as fashion long ago dispensed with the narrow idea of clothing as protection and warmth, today’s automobile is far more than simply a means of conveyance. Now more than ever, both are a form of personal expression and individual style,” explained Martin Bremer, Director Colour & Trim Mercedes-Benz Design.
The Mercedes-Benz designers immerse themselves in the daily life of the target group for whom they are designing a new model, in order to understand and appreciate the particular preferences of the potential car buyer – and the style statement that he or she wishes to make. In this process, they are supported by trend scouts sniffing out both regional and global trends. The designers seek to identify the target group’s living environment, their preferred consumer goods, and the colours and materials with which they surround themselves. Finally, using photos and material samples, they construct so-called mood boards that characterise the target group’s lifestyle environment in all of its various expressions and directions in taste. The boards serve as a source of inspiration for the design of the vehicle and its interior.
Three such mood boards along with their corresponding seat cover designs are being shown by the designers in the lobby of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin. One of the seat covers will be featured in the new GLK scheduled for market release at the end of 2008. The styling of other two has been deliberately exaggerated in order to demonstrate a direct translation of two fashion trends identified by the Mercedes-Benz Design Centre in