AUTOMOBILE

Blowin’ Up: Mercedes Honors The Airbag With Inflatable Clothes

40 years ago, Mercedes-Benz offered its first inflatable airbag as a supplemental restraint system (SRS) on the W126 S Class Sedan. With safety systems and technology being a very big deal at Mercedes, the company decided something special was required to honor this occasion. As such, no expense was spared in sourcing airbags and recycling them into … inflatable clothing?

Believe it or not, that’s exactly what Mercedes did. Or rather, the automaker collaborated with fashion designer Heron Preston on the idea. Preston has a reputation for promoting sustainability and an eye for innovation, and with some help from Mercedes, he came up with the Airbag concept collection – three specific clothing designs made using recycled airbags.

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Mercedes doesn’t offer details on the clothes. A photoshoot shows pants and a variety of coats, not to mention one wildly extravagant, um, cloak? Everything is a weird shade of white, as you’d expect to find with airbags. Sadly, the inflatable aspect of the clothes isn’t explained either. Presumably, it’s controlled by the wearer and not activated by accidentally bumping into something.

“Heron’s unique take on sustainability and the way he approaches the topic through the lens of culture is what made him an outstanding partner to work with on this project”, said Bettina Fetzer, Mercedes-Benz vice president of communications and marketing. “The Airbag concept collection is inspired by two anniversaries of the life-saving technical innovation: the Airbag patent 50 years ago and the first serial introduction into our flagship model, the S-Class back in 1981. We are convinced that co-creation and collaborative projects create memorable and unique moments with our brand.”

If you’re anxious to wrap yourself up in an inflatable jacket made from airbags, we have some bad news. For now at least, there are no plans to offer this clothing line to the public. However, the public can see these items in person from September 6th – 8th at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin. And if you really must have these items, they will be available through a giveaway at the global platform GOAT on September 10.


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