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COLOUR YOUR LIFE

Text HELMUT WERB
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Photos PORSCHE / DOMINIK HILDEBRANDT
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25/12/2022
Sean Wotherspoon is what you'd call a whiz kid. The 32-year-old opened a vintage store in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia, almost ten years ago, won a Nike sneaker design competition in 2017 - and today designs products for global brands that stand out above all because of their striking colours - like the Taycan 4 Cross Turismo. So we asked him about it right away.

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Mr Wotherspoon, how would you describe yourself?

I’m a designer, I work with colours, I like sneakers, cars – and I love music.

Who would you say you design for?

If I were to design for the whole world, my design would be confused. That’s why I design for myself. Things that bring me joy – and I share this happiness with other people.

You once said that nature is your shortcut. What do you mean by that?

It means that nature has already shown us everything. For example: most leaves are water-repellent, yet humans are always inventing new water-repellent materials and chemicals. So if we simply reverse these processes, that’s the shorter way.

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How did the project with Porsche come about?

I was at a Porsche event in Los Angeles, we got talking and it turned into a collaboration. Over time, Porsche opened more and more doors for me, more and more people came on board, and also Porsche’s design studio. The team then took my ideas to the next level with tremendous dedication.

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Porsche is a sports car manufacturer with a long history, how do you deal with that?

That is the greatest gift of all. I’m fascinated by the fact that the first Porsche model was electrically powered. That was more than a hundred years ago! And today, in 2022, I’m working on an electric vehicle – and that’s something very special. Besides, I had every freedom when I was working on the Taycan. That says a lot about Porsche.

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Sean Wotherspoon x Porsche Taycan 4 Cross Turismo // For the cooperation, the colour variants were first played through on a vehicle model using virtual reality technology. Wotherspoon sent the desired colours as corresponding Pantone codes to Porsche, where the shades were nuanced and reproduced. During the creation process, the influencer travelled several times to Porsche’s design studio in Weissach. Not only is Wotherspoon’s typical colourful colour blocking to be found in the interior of the Art Car, but also his preference for unusual materials, which he also uses for his streetwear: Cork on the dashboard, steering wheel and centre console, for example, provide a visual contrast to the colours. Another striking feature is the corduroy velvet in atacama beige, which covers the headlining, seat centre panels and sun visors.

How did you incorporate history into the design?

The circles on the sides of the car, reminiscent of round race number holders, are my homage to Porsche’s long and distinguished racing history. Our team worked on it day and night, and working on such an extraordinary project was extremely inspiring. It was a great moment when the car was finally finished in front of me.

You are known for your colour blocking style, how important are colours in Sean Wotherspoon’s value system?

Colours are my focus. I’m constantly looking for inspiration and I can spot it anywhere, whether it’s a vintage piece of clothing or a tree whose green glows in the sunlight, making it very special. I can then capture that green with a photo, match it with known shades and discover a green that didn’t exist before. When we started colour blocking on the Porsche, we could have used chequerboard patterns and squares. But then we decided to work with whole body parts.

You named the colours on the Taycan after your family: Nash Blue, Loretta Purple, Ashley Green and Sean Peach. How did that come about?

Porsche came to me and asked me to name the colours because clear names were important. So I christened them with my first name, and those of my children and my fiancée. Now, when my son is older, he can point to the car and say: Ah, that’s me, Nash Blue.

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Sean Wotherspoon was born on 3 March 1990 in Richmond, Virginia, and opened a vintage store called RoundTwo with friends almost ten years ago, which quickly gained cult status. In 2017, he won a Nike design contest, and today people pay four figures for the sneaker. Today, the 32-year-old designs for global brands, and RoundTwo stores can be found in Chicago, Miami and on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.

Source: https://ramp.space/post/color-your-life

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