It's been 50 years since the patent for the airbag was filed. Now, the humble safety equipment has been turned into a fashion statement by Mercedes-Benz. The supplemental restraint devices can now be worn as jackets, bags, and what can only be described as a huge, puffy shower cap.
To create the clothing, Mercedes collaborated with Heron Preston, described as a fashion designer, sustainability advocate and DJ. Preston used recycled airbags to create the outfits, adding patterns and color that evoke automotive safety. Some of the pieces, for example, contain the red, orange, and black markings and text found on crash test cars and dummies, such as the circles divided into contrasting color quarters. Come to think of it, they look quite similar to the logo of another German automaker.
The airbag was patented in October 1971. Mercedes claims to be the first car company to employ the safety device 10 years later, with the 1981 S-Class. Indeed, some of the photos in the fashion shoot by Thibaut Grevet include a W126 500 SEL safety car painted in contrasting silvers, blacks, and oranges. A new S-Class painted in a similar color scheme is posed next to it as well.
As for the clothes themselves, we're clearly not the target demo. While we can see the usefulness and conversation-piece factor in an airbag bag, for instance, we're clearly not cool enough to pull off an inflated hoodie that makes you look like you're about to clear a contaminated site of radiation, or a junior officer aboard the Spaceball One. If you can, though, these one-off pieces will be available on internet hypebeast trading post Goat starting September 10. Before that happens, though, they'll be shown Sept. 6-8 at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Berlin.