Don’t you just hate when the new private jet you just ordered doesn’t match your boring car? Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa must hate that too, so he’s now commissioned a car from Rolls-Royce to complement his new jet. Not only that but Rolls-Royce brought on Parisian fashion house Hermés along for the ride too.
The new car has been dubbed the Phantom Oribe and it is just a one-off design made specifically for Maezawa. The name, Oribe, comes from the 16th century Japanese pottery that Maezawa collects, and a lot of this car’s design is inspired by Oribe ware. I suppose if you’re the man who can buy eight seats on SpaceX’s first commercial flight to the moon for him and his mates, you get to have your car designed after pottery. It seems though that both Rolls-Royce and Hermés were only too happy to oblige. And the results are pretty breathtaking.
The car is based on the Phantom VIII and both the interior and the exterior have been made by hand using “materials, techniques, and intelligence from both brands’ ateliers (workshops).”
The main thing borrowed from Oribe ware is the typical cream and green glaze that many Oribe artifacts are known for. Rolls-Royce apparently spent months trying to create the right shade of green for the car. While most of the car is green, the bumpers and the skirting are coloured cream and while it looks strange on a Rolls-Royce it does work surprisingly well. This two-tone colour scheme is also prevalent on the interior of the car as well. Hermés Enea Green leather and Seashell White are found throughout the interior and if isn’t leather, it’s open-pore Royal Walnut or canvas.
This seemed like a project both parties were incredibly enthusiastic about, much to Maezawa’s delight, I’m sure. Both companies have allowed each other to experiment and make a car that is unique. Rolls-Royce allowed Hermés to do things in the car that Rolls have never done themselves. Things like armrests, door panels, console accents and the headliner are done up in Hermés Toile H canvas, a material not usually found in luxury cars.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO, Torsten Müller-Ötvös said of the collaboration,
“[This] is the result of a deep, genuine collaboration between the Houses of Rolls-Royce and Hermés, in which designers, materials specialists and skilled craftspeople worked side by side to create a truly one-of-a-kind Phantom.”
One-of-a-kind is certainly right.
The most visually striking aspect of the car is the Royal Walnut wood trim. The trim found on the doors shows something interesting. Instead of putting a metal grille or some kind of fabric over the speakers, they’ve perforated the wood in the shape of the speakers to let the sound through. It’s really cool to see and looks absolutely slick. A nice subtle design choice.
The dashboard has wood panelling that features an equestrian theme was commissioned by Hermés from Pierre Péron. The very talented Péron has created many of Hermés’ scarf designs. The design he went with in the Oribe features two hand-painted abstract horse heads. The art itself looks to be inspired by dot-paintings and provides a rustic feeling to a car who’s only rustic element is its colour scheme. But the design is very much a Hermés signature and in the spirit of collaboration, the art fits in very well.
The car is very nice, and Rolls-Royce have refused to tell anyone the price, but a regular Phantom is around $500,000 so what do you think a custom paint job and Hermés interior cost as extras? Probably not too much for a man who owns a private jet and a flight to the moon.