Gaydon, Warwickshire, 28 September 2011. Aston Martin has been awarded the prize of the UK’s coolest brand, winning this prestigious accolade for an unprecedented fifth time in six years.
Once again, Aston Martin has topped a poll which comprises an array of leading international contemporary design-driven brands, including Apple and Bang & Olufsen, as well as other leading automotive brands. Aston Martin was also voted the top automotive brand surpassing a host of other luxury and specialist manufacturers to complete a double success.
Stephen Cheliotis, Chief Executive, The Centre for Brand Analysis and Chairman of the CoolBrands Council commented: “Smooth, sexy and sophisticated; British built, high quality and hand finished, let’s be honest, young or old, male or female, opinion former or British public, who wouldn’t aspire to own what is truly the coolest car on the road. Number one in five of the last six years, this British icon is truly the coolest of the cool.”
Since it was established in 2001, the CoolBrands initiative has been canvassing the opinions of experts and consumers to identify the coolest brand in the UK, based on factors including style, innovation, authenticity, originality and desirability.
This year’s council of 36 influencers includes music artist Jessie J, DJ and Bestival founder Rob da Bank and actress and fashion designer, Sadie Frost. After 10,000 brands are initially identified, a shortlist of 1,500 brands is established and the panel and consumers then vote to produce a top 500 of the most highly rated brands.
The past decade has seen Aston Martin transformed from a small-scale manufacturer of specialist sports cars to one of the world’s best-known luxury brands, boasting its strongest ever line-up. From the breathtaking One-77 supercar and the elegant yet brutal V12 Zagato to the Tailor-Fit luxury city car, the Cygnet, from the powerful Vantage range and new Virage to the exquisite DB9, DBS and Rapide, every Aston Martin expresses the core values of Power, Beauty and Soul. The Aston Martin range was expanded further at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, where the company unveiled the striking new DBS Carbon Series.
Aston Martin is globally represented with a network of 136 dealers in 42 countries, most recently opening new dealerships in Istanbul, Turkey, Las Vegas, USA and Mumbai, India. The company also has ambitious growth plans for up to four new dealer sites in China over the next 12 months, doubling the existing network.
Aston Martin remains at the forefront of contemporary manufacturing, a cultural force that embodies design and engineering excellence, and a brand with a truly special heritage. Renowned around the world, Aston Martin enters the next decade with the promise of radical innovation and change, without losing the core qualities that make this strong, independent British brand so widely revered.
“I think Nabokov once said that genius is finding the invisible link between things. And that’s how I choose to see life. Everything’s connected, and everything has meaning if you look for it.”—Michelle Williams in the October Issue of Vogue (via vogue)
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”—Steve Jobs (via divagationsonline)
Alexander McQueen was one of the most influential avant garde designers of the past 15 years.Born on March 17th 1969, Lee was the youngest of six children and at the age of sixteen Lee left school to start an apprenticeship at Savile Row, from there he moved on to work for Angels and Bermans, who were theatrical costumiers, where he mastered 6 methods of pattern cutting one being melodramtic 16th century. At the age of 20 he was employed by designer Koji Tatsuno, and a year later he moved to Milan to work as a design assistant for Romeo Gigli. When McQueen returned to London he completed a master degree at central St martins and in 1992 he showcased his MA collection which was famously bought by the eccentric fashion editor Isabella Blow, who later became his mentor and helped he become what he is remembered for today.
Instead of showcasing his collections in the tents of London fashion week. McQueen chose to show them in warehouses in the darker, dangerous parts of London. From the very beginning of his career his shows were to shock, not to please, as McQueen liked to piss people off with his collections. One collection in particular which caused a lot of controversy and was seen as perverse,and a celebration of the sexual violation of women, was his Fall 1995 collection entitled Highland Rape, were battered looking models came out on the catwalk with there breasts hanging out of torn clothes and apparent tampon strings hanging out of the skirts, but McQueen later stated that the collection was in fact about Englands rape of scotland ” People were so unitelligent they thought this was about women being raped- yet Highland Rape was about englands rape of Scotland”. A later collection which made the headlines again as a very controversial show was his Spring 1997 collection entitled Le Poupee, which featured a black model constrained in a metal cage which was attached to her body, which was said to have been a reference to slavery, but in actual fact it was inspired by Hans Bellmer a German Puppet-Master.
However McQueen at this point wasn’t just causing controversy in London but also in Paris. Givenchy Haute Couture Spring 1997 the first collection McQueen design for the house, as he became the Head Designer succeeding over John Galliano, did not go down well. His flamboyant collection which consisted of tight corsets, exposed breasts and topless men on podiums, wasn’t what the french would call a couture show. The french press said that he didn’t understand couture and his bad boy style didn’t fit in with the house of Givenchy. After the unsuccessful beginning McQueen toned down his designs but still kept his rebellious streak, however once again he caused controversy in 1998 when he sent double amputee model Aimee Mullins down the runway in a pair of wooden carved legs. McQueen continued at Givenchy until he left the house of Givenchy in March 2001, and sold 51% of his label Alexander McQueen to the Gucci group and they gave him total creative freedom.
From then on McQueen produced shows that were more creative, outrageous and provocative.