Intended to capture and express the spirit of Mazda, the Mazda Essence Line and Motorsports Line apparel collections further convey Mazda’s commitment to compelling design and careful craftsmanship.
“It comes down to trying to adopt the design philosophy that was used to create the cars,” explained Gregory Warmsley, Dirctor, Brand Style Management at Mazda’s North American Design Studio, designer of Mazda’s new Essence apparel collection. “Japanese precision is one element, but it’s also about bringing these clothes to life using really rich but not opulent materials and finishes. It’s about paying attention to the effort it takes to produce a nice piece of clothing.”
Express Your Values
“If our customers are going to spend their hard-earned money,” Warmsley insisted, “they want something they can relate to, and which reflects the way they see and feel about the world. Mazda has a clear, higher purpose for why we exist. We are giving people something they can enjoy wearing just as much as they love to drive our cars. For example, a lot of merchandise is focused on making you a walking billboard. We chose a different approach. In a broad stroke, the Essence line is a philosophical comment on who we are as a company.”
In addition to an understated, elegant look, a relentless focus on quality was central to the project. The Essence collection includes a variety of men’s and women’s shirts, outerwear, hats and accessories including a unique key fob.
“Our clothing is like our cars,” Warmsley promised. “Each piece is designed from the ground up, completely from scratch. Then there are no short cuts on how the items are made. We specify the sewing style as well as the fit and finish, which is a huge difference from just putting your brand on a generic shirt. We’re really trying to focus on how we make things. We try to make every piece as good as we can.”
Clothing for the race track and the street
As a companion to the Essence collection, Reggie Acosta Manager, Brand Style Management at Mazda’s North American Design Center, designed a Mazda Motorsports clothing line, aiming to allow the true fan become part of the team. The Motorsports Line has a bolder look than the Essence collection, with each piece still subtle enough to surprise and be pleasing the eye.
“With the Essence line, we had this overall approach of using natural and authentic materials and colors,” Acosta explained. “There’s an array of natural gray, whites and blacks, but we also injected some color that still feels natural. They are not loud brash colors, but rather earthy and natural. That’s more in line with our brand.”
The Motorsports Line includes men’s and women’s shirts and outwear, and a selection of caps. Designs reach back into Mazda’s rich history in motorsports, and reflect the brand’s challenger spirit.
“My goal is to capture the energy and passion from motorsports, and then express it in a way that’s precise and technical,” Acosta declared. “A good example is the Rhombus line art drawing that recalls our winning Le Mans livery from 1991. It’s still artful but speaks to that passion from motorsports.”
In the end, both the Essence and the Motorsports collections reflect Mazda’s core values.
“Everything that we design at Mazda is designed for humans by humans,” Acosta said. “We want people to feel good in our products.”