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The search for the new classic of Baracuta and Jaguar

A journey from London to Milan aboard a custom made E-PACE

The search for the new classic of Baracuta and Jaguar  A journey from London to Milan aboard a custom made E-PACE

With the term West Midlands, we refer to all the air that extends around the airport of Birmingham, a city that together with Wolverhampton constitutes the largest English urban agglomeration after London. Historically, the Midlands has been the land of the English automotive industry. In the '70s the region produced more than 60% of all cars produced in the UK, before the explosion of globalization and the lack of economies of scale left those lands to the monopoly of a single group, the one composed by Land Rover and Jaguar. Jaguar itself was born in the center of the Midlands, in Coventry, in what has now become a lively university town, completing a transition underway throughout the area, which is rapidly transforming from an industrial area into something different. 

Not far away, in Gaydon, is the Jaguar Design Studio, the place where the entire engineering and design process of every Jaguar car takes place. And it is here that the E-PACE made in collaboration with Baracuta was conceived and then built. Even though the current period is one of the most interesting for cross-sector collaborations, and although the automotive world has become increasingly interested in the world of fashion - often with very interesting results - it is never easy to succeed in bringing the two worlds together. It isn't if you don't find an important reason why the project is important, an inspirational foothold that can justify the process. In the case of Jaguar and Baracuta, that foothold was Steve McQueen.

It was 1963 when Steve McQueen was portrayed by John Dominis wearing a G9 Harrington Jacket in "Natural" coloration inside his Jaguar XKSS. A very powerful image, capable of crystallizing in a single expression two important elements of the Britishness of the time together with what was defined as the "King of cool". In a rather natural way, therefore, the fusion between Jaguar and Baracuta that had immortalized the coolness of the '60s had to serve as a vector to try to tell the contemporary coolness, or rather, the coolness of tomorrow. A Jaguar E-PACE, the hybrid model of the English company, was therefore selected, personalized starting from the "natural" version of the G9 worn by Steve McQueen. An unprecedented coloration for Jaguar, as well as for the automotive world in general, those that the fashion industry and Instagram have learned to define "earth tones" are among the main trends of the current fashion season, but they are certainly not usual for the automotive industry, which more often takes refuge in sharper colors. But if the Harrington Jacket has influenced Jaguar's customization process, in the same way, Jaguar and automotive aesthetics have had the chance to express their styles on the Harrington Jacket, in the production of a limited number of items with the logo of the British company in a reflective detail. 

The world of fashion and street culture has, in recent years, rediscovered an unbridled desire to show its passion for the world of cars. Not only supercars linked to rap aesthetics, but real collaborations between designers and car manufacturers, as well as aesthetic ties between characters and iconic models. At the same time, the Instagram curator accounts that have increasingly shaped the aesthetics of our days - and the tastes of tomorrow's consumers - have left more space to the automotive world, celebrating its shapes, inspirations, and that ideal of research of the future in some ways very similar to that sought by the world of fashion. The Next Classic Guide was born from these inputs, from the desire to use the synergy of the two brands to research what will represent a classic in the coming years. A real cool-hunting project, where the car acts as a flywheel to tour Europe passing from hand to hand through curators, content creators, DJs, artists, and stylists who will try to answer the questions "what will represent a classic? What will be the trends of tomorrow? How will the aesthetics of our time evolve?". Baracuta has been for decades a sort of incubator for subcultures, from the young people of the American Ivy League of the '50s to Hollywood stars, passing through British Mod, punks and skinheads, the Harrington Jacket has always been the uniform of elegance, rebellion, belonging, style and freedom, always remaining the same.

Now that the digital era has completely transformed the way we approach the same subcultures, the idea of The Next Classic Guide is to try and remap coolness. To do so, the journey will begin in London and the work of Sam Trottman, known for his Instagram curator account, Samutaro. From the Jaguar Design Studio in Gaydon, in the middle of those Midlands that outline a landscape of countryside that everyone thinks they know but have never been there, Jaguar and Baracuta will move to one of the most active cultural centers in the modern world. From that moment on, a journey will begin that will end only in February, during Milan fashion week, and that will also involve custom makers and artists - who will have the opportunity to work on the limited edition of the G-9 - and Instagram communities and blogs that will tell the inside story of what we try to define as "next classic".

Follow the E-PACE's journey from London to Milan and read Jaguar and Baracuta's The Next Classic Guide.