When Jeremy Hackett decided to take his unique approach to men’s tailoring out of the wardrobe and on to the road, there was only one logical collaborator. Aston Martin and Hackett have worked together for many years, from creating uniforms for Aston Martin Racing to the ongoing select menswear pieces that reflect the company’s shared values. A capsule collection is one thing, but a whole car took the creative collaboration to another level.
“It was actually something that came out off the blue,” Hackett recalls. “I had met Marek [Reichman, Aston Martin’s Chief Creative Officer] several times and he once casually mentioned we could do a unique Rapide S. The Rapide is my favourite model — it’s elegant, refined, understated and, of course, has room for my Sussex spaniels, Muffin and Harry.”
Hackett relished the top-secret nature of the project. “It had the code name JPH1 — my initials,” he adds. Describing his creative process, he says: “I assembled some inspirational items on my kitchen table, including a pair of bespoke George Cleverley black Oxfords, shoe trees, a cashmere blanket,
a weekend bag, a small patch of material, an old-fashioned number plate a polo-playing car mascot, a Union Jack handkerchief, an umbrella and a bowler hat.”
The technicians at Aston Martin are always up for a challenge
These objects influenced the car’s many personal touches, from the checked luggage and travel umbrella (“a nod to James Bond”) and the black hat felt on the head rests. “I am pleased to say that Marek was very taken with my ideas,” Hackett adds. The Rapide S’s elegant lines are defined by a scintillating blue, which in turn was inspired by the interior trim. “It occurred to me that Aston Martin is by appointment to the Prince of Wales, so what could be better than to use a Prince of Wales check material for the seats? We used wool from the illustrious Fox Bros mill in Wellington, Somerset — it’s heavy duty grey with a pale blue over-check.”
The exterior colour complements this over-check, as does the pale blue flannel roof lining, glove compartment, sun visors and even the interior of the cup holders (“a bit of blue sky thinking”, according to Hackett). “The technicians at Aston Martin are always up for a challenge,” he says. “I believe the upholstery was quite complicated as they had to match up the checks.”
The project used every conceivable aspect of the Q by Aston Martin service. “It has been a joy to work on with Marek,” says Hackett, although he admits his focus was more about the finishes, not the car’s impressive technical specification. “When he first showed me the finished car I was overwhelmed with how well it had turned out,” he says, “but when he started to explain to me the technicalities of the engine I nodded sagely. I was thinking: ‘What goes on under the bonnet stays under the bonnet.’”
The end result — available to purchase — is an extraordinary synthesis of craft, technology and modern style.