GET INSPIRED BY ERIKA TSUBAKI, DESIGNER OF THE VIGNALE CO
How did Ford Designer Erika Tsubaki approach creating the Vignale Collection, a line of elegant and ingenious accessories that match perfectly the exclusive character of the Ford Mondeo Vignale?
How do you incorporate the core values of the Ford Mondeo Vignale into the Vignale Collection?
“The products in the collection have a premium feel to them – just like the car – while still remaining accessible. They’re not just nice gadgets but important building blocks in the world of the Ford Mondeo Vignale. The car makes travel comfortable, almost effortless. Likewise in terms of functionality, feeling and comfort, the accessories have all been designed to save time and make life simpler. The collection includes a handbag, travel bag, wallet and protective cover for your mobile phone. But there’s also a silk scarf, tie, tray and coffee cups. Each one stylish, elegant and made from high-quality materials.”
For the Weekender Bag you won the IF Design Award. Was that a big surprise?
“For me and for Ford! It was the first time Ford won this prestigious prize for a lifestyle product, not a car design or technical application for cars. The prize is recognition for all the craftspeople who made the bag with so much pride and effort. After all, everything is handmade.”
What physical characteristics from the Ford Mondeo Vignale are to be found in the Weekender?
“The bag’s side has a trapezoid form, a key element in the design. If you look closely, you’ll recognise the grille of the car. The light, warm colour combination is directly derived from the car’s interior. The leather seat covers have dark edges, just like the bag. The diamond-formed stitching on the seats is reflected inside the bag, as if you’re unpacking a gift from the inside. For the shoulder band, we used the same seat belts that are in the car.”
You’re also a musician. Do you feel you’ve ‘listened’ closely to the Ford Mondeo Vignale?
“The nice, soft sound as you shut the car’s bonnet gave me the idea to use magnets for closing the side pockets. They make the same kind of sound when they click together, and I was able to work them into the leather so the magnets are hidden. I didn’t want to have any shiny, cold metal on the outside of the bag – that would have been too big a contrast with the feeling of warmth that emanates from the exclusive leather. The choice for magnet clasps ended up increasing the functionality enormously. It’s so easy to open and close the side pockets – no fumbling around with zippers or buckles. And the shape of the side pockets means the beginning and end of the zipper – the ugliest parts of a handbag –are hidden from view.”
Was the design a challenge for the craftspeople?
“They were very curious whether it would work. The bag is made of relatively large pieces of leather, making it a bit more difficult to model. I wanted to cut the material as little as possible. In my view, you create a premium feel when you use high-quality material and then let it speak for itself by altering it as little as possible.”
Do you use the bag yourself?
“Every day and I’m not careful with it at all. Rain, snow – it goes with me everywhere. The Weekender is very sturdy and the leather easy to care for.”