LEXUS JOINS FORCES WITH ADIDAS AND ADIDAS S.E.E.D TO CREATE A CUSTOM ALL-NEW LEXUS RX INSPIRED BY MARVEL STUDIOS’ ‘BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER’
adidas-developed custom wrap is an automotive extension of “Wakanda Forever Capsule Collection”
- adidas S.E.E.D students reimagine the all-new Lexus RX interior inspired by the film under mentorship from Calty Design Research
- 3D printing company Carbon realizes the student’s design using breakthrough technology; Carbon DLS™ (Digital Light Synthesis)
- In celebration of the reveal, the powerhouse brands drop a limited release T-Shirt designed by the students at adidas S.E.E.D
PLANO, Texas (Nov. 14, 2022) – Strength in unity unlocks new possibilities and today, Lexus unveils what’s possible when the luxury automaker, adidas, adidas S.E.E.D, Calty Design Research and 3D printing company Carbon join forces. As a result, the all-new Lexus RX 500h F SPORT is transformed into an eye-catching crossover inspired by Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” now playing only in theaters.
To help celebrate the recent launch of adidas’ “Wakanda Forever Collection,” the team at adidas sought to bring their “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”-inspired designs into the automotive space. Created for the best athletes in the world, this performance sportswear embodies what it means to be Wakandan and explores the question, “What if Wakanda had a national athletic team?” The vehicle wrap builds on the custom identity of the fictional African nation as envisioned by adidas, creating an automotive identity that matches the fashion collection.
“The all-new RX 500h is part of our expanding Lexus Electrified portfolio with evolved innovative technology that elevates the driver’s experience,” said Michael Moore, general manager, Lexus International. “There’s an athleticism in the performance of the RX that makes it a perfect fit to join the ‘Wakanda Forever’ team.”
The re-imagined exterior of the RX features the Wakandan-inspired print and purple colorway used throughout the adidas sportswear collection. A diamond pattern inlayed across the hood is inspired by the Black Panther’s claw necklace. Gold details, a tie to the new Black Panther’s suit, accent the exterior, with unique “F” center caps, F SPORT () on the wheels and Lexus badging that are reimagined using the fictional Wakandan alphabet. The word “Vibe-Branium,” also spelled in the Wakandan alphabet, is added to the rear badging as part of its unique name: the Lexus RX 500h Vibe-Branium ( ) AWD DIRECT4.
Beyond the customized exterior wrap, the students at adidas S.E.E.D (School for Experiential Education in Design) embraced the challenge to reimagine the all-new Lexus RX interior by using the much-anticipated sequel as its source of inspiration.
“Lexus is passionate about fostering future designers,” said Sabina Charfauros-Redmon, creative lead, Lexus International. “We see adidas S.E.E.D as representing a new normal that opens doors for BIPOC women in the design space. It’s a special moment when young creators are given the opportunity to stretch their creativity beyond their own comprehension. Lexus believes in this narrative and is excited to be a part of this process.”
To help guide the students through the design process, Calty Design Research led the students through a series of workshops exploring automotive design, Lexus design, creative processes, color and materials and the power of collaboration.
“Lexus, adidas and Wakanda Forever may seem like they come from totally different worlds but the thread that draws everything together is the pursuit and leadership in unique storytelling and innovative technology,” stated Alex Shen, chief designer at Calty Design Research. “Because of this common thread, the S.E.E.D. designers have such a unique and exciting task ahead of them to create something really artful and cool. It’s a real pleasure and honor for us to witness all the creativity, enthusiasm and collaborative thinking and execution from the S.E.E.D. designers.”
“Collaboration is one of our core values at S.E.E.D. We believe that innovation exists at the intersection of creativity, collaboration, diversity, inclusion and equity,” adds Cheresse Thornhill-Goldson, director, Design Education & Growth | S.E.E.D., adidas. “A critical aspect of our curriculum is ‘open-source’ product creation where we team up with experts across various industries to educate and co-create with our S.E.E.D. designers to bring unique products to life. So, collaborating with Lexus, ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,’ Carbon, Calty and Annex to design the Lexus Vibe-Branium Direct4 RX 500h was such a transformative experience for our students. The end result is a powerful example of what can happen when we leverage the ‘collective genius’ across disciplines.”
Carbon, an adidas partner since 2017, has revolutionized athletic footwear by providing the technology platform for the production of adidas 4D midsoles. Carbon DLS™ (Digital Light Synthesis™) technology is pioneered by 3D printing specialists aligning innovation and sustainability in collaboration with adidas to create a portfolio of athletic footwear that meet specific performance needs. In addition, Carbon’s footprint on the silver screen contributing to costumes, animatronics and other worldly environments make them the perfect partner to help realize the S.E.E.D student’s interior vision.
As part of Lexus’s mission to mine budding talent in the creative realm, versatile multi-hyphenated visual storyteller Cami Thomas will document the collaboration with a featurette which is set to release in mid-November on digital platforms.
The custom build will feature an interior re-imagined with future-focused designs, textures and materials. Using the modern luxury of the latest RX as a canvas, adidas’s custom Wakanda-inspired tribal gold print covers sections of the seating surfaces and are featured prominently on the seat bolsters in particular. The same pattern is applied to the door panel inserts and in purple sections of the steering wheel. The F SPORT door sill plate is translated in the Wakandan alphabet () along with “Wakanda Forever” (), which is embroidered on the steering wheel. Key tactile areas such as the steering wheel pad and front and rear headrests are covered in the Carbon 3D printed energy-returning athletic shoe mid-sole material used in the adidas 4D-FWD. The front head rests include Lexus’s signature emblem and the rear center head rest houses adidas’s iconic logo. Meanwhile, surfaces around the shifter are decorated in laser-cut wood and gold trim that accents the interior to help create a uniquely Wakandan-inspired in-car environment.
To celebrate this moment, the powerhouse brands will drop a limited release T-Shirt designed by the students at adidas S.E.E.D. The exclusive T-shirt will be available to select influencers. The front of the T-Shirt includes an African Proverb written in Wakandan “” (“Educate a Woman, Educate a Nation”) stylized in traditional Japanese format, tategaki. The back of the T-Shirt pays homage to mineral rich Wakanda’s Vibranium that has helped shaped its future focused society through a periodic table transcribed in Wakandan. In addition, the T-Shirt’s wash tag houses emblems from the super power team, LEXUS, adidas, adidas S.E.E.D, Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and Carbon.
In the hands of veteran custom car builder Gordon Ting, he helps fully realize the custom “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”-inspired Lexus RX inside and out.
(Marvel Studios Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in theaters November 11th )
Lexus launched in 1989 with a flagship sedan and a guest experience that helped define the premium automotive industry. In 1998, Lexus introduced the luxury crossover category with the launch of the Lexus RX. The luxury hybrid sales leader, Lexus delivered the world’s first luxury hybrid and has since sold over 1.5 million hybrid vehicles.
A global luxury automotive brand with an unwavering commitment to bold, uncompromising design, exceptional craftsmanship, and exhilarating performance, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of the next generation of global luxury guests and is currently available in over90 countries worldwide.
Lexus associates/team members across the world are dedicated to crafting amazing experiences that are uniquely Lexus, and that excite and change the world.
ABOUT adidas & adidas S.E.E.D.
At adidas, we are rebellious optimists driven by action, with a desire to shape a better future together. We see the world of sport and culture with possibility where others only see the impossible. ‘Impossible is Nothing’ is not a tagline for us. By being optimistic and knowing the power of sport, we see endless possibilities to apply this power and push all people forward with action. Our purpose, ‘through sport, we have the power to change lives’, guides the way we run our company, how we work with our partners, how we create our products, and how we engage with our consumers. We will always strive to expand the limits of human possibilities, to include and unite people in sport, and to create a more sustainable world.
S.E.E.D. (School for Experiential Education in Design) is a 2-year program at adidas in partnership with Pensole Lewis College of Business & Design, that acts as an alternative to a university education in Footwear Design. The program is an Open-Source education model, that leverages industry experts inside and outside of the adidas brand to teach, guide, and mentor students. S.E.E.D. designers learn Leadership and Design skills via the product creation process of bringing “real” products to the marketplace. The program pipelines diverse talent into full-time positions within adidas on an expedited timeline
About Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
In Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri
(Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (including
Florence Kasumba) fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda. Introducing Tenoch Huerta as Namor, ruler of a hidden undersea nation, the film also stars Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Mabel Cadena and Alex Livinalli. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige and Nate Moore, opens in U.S. theaters Nov. 11, 2022. ###
About CALTY Design Research
CALTY designs innovative Toyota and Lexus vehicle concepts for the North American market. CALTY was founded in 1973 in Southern California by Toyota, the first automotive company to recognize the importance of California car culture and its powerful influence on national trends. CALTY’s headquarters and advanced design studio is in Newport Beach, Calif., while the production design studio is located in Ann Arbor, Mich. Recently, CALTY has been credited with design contributions on the production versions of the 2018 Lexus LC500, 2020 Toyota Supra, 2022 Toyota Tundra and 2023 Toyota Sequoia. CALTY has also created numerous concept vehicles, including the 2014 Toyota FT-1, 2017 Toyota Concept-I, 2018 Lexus LF-Limitless and 2022 Lexus Electrified Sport.