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HYPERINFLATION:
HERON PRESTON x MERCEDES AIRBAGS

A crash course in innovative, internet-breaking design.

Look, no car company will ever top that ridiculous Skoda advert, the one where the entire thing is made out of literal cake, but we’re game for any sort of collaboration, espesh when apparel is involved. Mercedes-Benz are never shy to journey into the fashion world, whether it’s teaming-up with Virgil Abloh or designing a skateboard for Palace. This time, they’ve moved their focus towards car interiors, but it’s not what you might expect. 

Nope, there are no leather-coated steering wheels or luxe analogue dials here – instead, it’s all about airbags. Teaming up with designer Heron Preston, known for his punchy black-white-orange streetwear, the new project upcycles the safety devices into a high-fashion capsule, creating three new menswear and womenswear looks. It marks fifty years since the technology was patented, saving an estimated fifty thousand lives by cushioning crashes.

Staying true to the item that inspired it, each piece can be inflated with air on demand, creating ballooning jackets and puffed-up pants. Rather than being prised apart, the original airbags have been kept as intact as possible, only customised via shape and screen printed logos. It’s part of Preston’s commitment to designing more sustainable pieces, returning to upcycling, custom one-offs and reclaiming raw materials.

Upcycling and celebrating sustainability have been my earliest approaches to design,” Preston said in a statement. “I loved lensing a celebration of the airbag’s anniversary in this way to create a beautiful collection from recovered materials alongside some of their most advanced fleet of fuel-efficient and electric vehicles.”

If you fancy getting your hands on the collab, you’d better move quick. Hypesite to end all hypesites GOAT is auctioning some extra Merc merch produced at the same time, including twenty tote bags. While we might all be a little while away from owning a Benz, we’ve all got a chance to win this giveaway, and end up looking like we’re doing the most stylish of crash test demonstrations.

The Heron Preston x Mercedes capsule is being auctioned on GOAT tomorrow. Let’s hope the site doesn’t crash, etc.

Words by Kyle MacNeill

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