We may only be halfway through, but 2012 has already been a remarkable year for Porsche Design (PD). I’ve often heard that 40 is a year of deep reflection for most, so let’s look at a few highlights of the Porsche Design’s 40th year so far…
In January they launched the much anticipated & largest Porsche Design store in the world (at 250 square meters) in Soho, New York. It includes a VIP shopping area and a specially designed wall showcasing the brand’s journey of 40 years of “Iconic Style”. “With the store in Soho we are taking the Porsche Design luxury brand to the next level - not only in New York City and the United States of America but globally”, says Dr. Juergen Gessler, CEO of Porsche Design Group.
The RawTec Blazer went on to receive the red dot “best of the best” award in the Fashion, Lifestyle and Accessories category. The design quality is unrivalled. This blazer (can I have it in red please?) is top of my lust list.
You’ll know from my previous blog that Michael Griffin, CEO of Porsche Design (PD) SA lives and breathes the brand. Every. Single. Day. And without effort. But I wondered how he would possibly find anyone to run his business day to day that truly shared in what he believed.
To find out I sat down for an impromptu chat (read: they didn’t know I was coming!) with Mariette Coetzee, the store manager and Lucie Dlamini, one of the sales assistants at Porsche Design. I already knew they were very capable, having visited the store a few times by now, but I was keen to get their perspective since they steered this ship every day….
Wisaal: How would you describe the PD brand to someone who knew nothing about it?
Just as I reluctantly peeled the award-winning red RawTech P'1140 leather blazer off my booty and got my breathe back, another beauty caught my eye...
Exhibit B: the off-white cashmere turtle neck
I eagerly made my way back to the Porsche Design store to have a closer look around and experience the store again this time in the company of my favourite shopping companion – yes I took my better half along. And unlike our usual trips to the mall, not much dragging was needed when I mentioned exactly where we were off to!
Walking into the store I was surprised all over again by how much I was drawn in immediately – there’s so much gorgeous stuff catching my eyes it’s really hard to focus!
I veer straight to the ladies department where a red leather jacket (known as the P’1140 RawTec Blazer) calls my name. I’ve always been a sucker for red and any one of my friends will vouch that I am besotted with leather. Who was I to disobey?
The Porsche Design store itself is a no-corners-cut story Michael Griffin CEO of Porsche Design South Africa tells us as he walks us through. His passion is unbridled and completely authentic. It’s been a while since I’ve seen anyone this excited, honest and unstoppably passionate about anything. Refreshing is an understatement.
Everything visible to the eye including the cladding on the walls, wooden floors, shelving and even the light bulbs were put on a plane and shipped here from Germany at some 22 tons. The display in the window is the exact same in all 100+ stores around the world right now. I spot a humidifier in the corner of the store – for the wooden floors we’re told. Everything has been thought through, planned and executed meticulously.
When you first enter the newly opened Porsche Design store in Hyde Park all the reasons that prevented you from setting foot inside sooner quickly fade away. The sales assistants are friendly as can be and completely unintimidating (as we wish they all were!) - ready to tend to you but in an unimposing manner.
Porsche Design is one of Europe’s premier design houses. The Porsche Design Studio is in Austria and is characterised by producing objects of desire that are understated in their design, timeless, functional and at the very cutting edge of technology. And the merchandise! The merchandise is just a sight to behold and if you can imagine, even more beautiful to the touch.