Saturday 7 June Lena Waithe, screenwriter and Emmy Award winner, took part in the second episode of the Mercedes-Benz fashion story “How To”. On the occasion of London Fashion Week, the Chicago native experimented with the concept of upcycling, or how to use our curiosity and thirst for knowledge to help end bad habits of waste. Lena Waithe has reworked pre-existing materials to transform them into something new, with the same scruple with which she observes the world around her and uses it as a stimulus for her sharp Boomerang scripts, the Netflix TV show Master of None and the autobiographical drama The Chi.
The passion with which Lena has learned how to create new garments in a sustainable manner is the same that Mercedes-Benz demonstrates in the Mercedes-Benz Ambition2039 initiative for a more sustainable future, which includes a new series of emission-neutral cars from CO2 within 20 years, thanks to existing production facilities neutral in terms of CO2 emissions. All European plants will follow by 2022. However, the automotive sector is not able to achieve the goal of a greener future on its own, and even the fashion world must take responsibility for environmental protection with a holistic approach along the entire production chain.
With Mercedes-Benz, Lena learned upcycling techniques from Timberland’s global expert and creative director, Christopher Raeburn. This year is the 125th anniversary of Mercedes-Benz in motor sports: thanks to this tradition and to the current and future commitment to Formula E, the car manufacturer has supplied the uniforms of the Formula 1 and Formula E teams, which Raeburn has reused creatively creating with them in a parka for Lena. The Dutch designer Duran Lantink also helped Lena hone her upcycling skills. Lantink has created a totally personalized look through the “collage” technique – a process he uses for his eponymous brand based on the union of vintage garments.
Saturday 8 June Mercedes-Benz and Lena White hosted a round table in London with Raeburn, Lantink and Aleali May, the first female collaborator to design the Air Jordan, both male and female. Moderated by the colleague and executive producer of Lena Rishi Ranjani, the debate allowed to share the experiences of the protagonists had on the occasion of the experience realized during “How To” with media representatives who, together with some representatives of the public, were invited to take an upcycling course to learn how to recycle creatively. Lena’s upcycled creations were presented at a party on the occasion of the London Fashion Week opening night, animated by a one-hour set by Clara Amfo of Radio 1.
The EQC car was present at London evening with a custom-made lining designed by Lantink. Custom printing has also been used for the e-life of the event. Duran Lantink had the opportunity to collaborate with Mercedes-Benz as Creative Partner for the event with Lena Waithe when, last February, Lantink was designated by the public as a stylist not to lose sight of during the cocktail celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talents initiative.
About the “How To” event by Lena Waithe in London, Bettina Haussmann, head of Branded Entertainment Mercedes-Benz Cars said: “As with any other creative and ever-changing sector, the challenge is to always stay one step ahead to the others. We are proud of our passion for innovative design that works with dynamism towards a cleaner and more sustainable future, and we are thrilled to see the continuous progress in this direction due to our mobility solutions and fashion activation. Both the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talents program and our Fashion Story are invaluable tools to ensure that creative talent is committed to a cleaner future “.
“I am proud to be part of this fashion story that is opening its doors to emerging fashion talents and not just those that have an impact on culture. This kind of foresight will support the development of a diverse community of future creatives, and this is what “I’m doing. I’ve always bought vintage t-shirts, building a collection of pieces that have memories and emotions attached to them. It was great to have an active role in learning more about sustainable processes in fashion and upcycling with Chris and Duran”, this is the comment of Lena Waithe.
Lena is the second protagonist, after the model Jazzelle Zanaughtti, who last May participated in the Mercedes-Benz “How To” fashion story in Oslo with a voguing ball. They will soon be joined by singer Rina Sawayama and designer Samuel Ross, and both will have 24 hours to acquire a new skill. These collaborations see Mercedes-Benz committed to constantly developing creativity and demonstrate the effect that comes with thinking outside the box. During the year Mercedes-Benz will publish on Instagram a series of videos titled How To with hashtag #BenzKnowsHow to continue promoting new skills.
“How To” is the latest installment of the #mbcollective Mercedes-Benz fashion story, dedicated to the promotion of emerging talents in the fashion sector and to the meeting of representatives of different creative fields in order to generate innovative ideas. Throughout 2019, the platform will see a cast of creative personalities from around the world spend a whole day with a group of experts to learn a new skill, before demonstrating how it applies. The How To fashion story is only an indicator of the evolution of Mercedes-Benz from a car company to a provider of global mobility solutions, with a range of extraordinary proposals for car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking and recharging and multimodal transport. Combining pioneering technologies with unparalleled engineering expertise, Mercedes-Benz works to reduce traffic in urban areas and minimize pollution and dynamism.