Under the leitmotif “Simplicity, Transparency and Sustainability,” the vehicle presents inspiring ideas for a more sustainable approach to automotive design. In the process, a three-door MINI Cooper SE was – as the name suggests – completely “gutted” down to its structural essence. Then, only those elements that the designer deemed absolutely necessary were defined, implemented and realized – with sustainability rather than streetability being the primary focus. Therefore, this unique piece may (regrettably) not be driven on public roads.
Paul Smith (center) and Oliver Heilmer (left) worked on the Mini Strip in various workshops. Photo: Mini
“For me, the MINI STRIP is an impressive demonstration that we at MINI and Paul Smith share the same bold way of thinking about the future in terms of innovation and design – and together we create more. Paul’s out-of-the-box thinking posed essential questions right at the start of the design process. We are proud to have developed such a strong character statement together,” explains Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design.
Paul Smith x MINI: Introducing the MINI Strip
And Paul Smith, designer adds: “I’m incredibly grateful to have been given the chance to rethink the legendary MINI. I know and love the previous car, but by respecting tradition while looking to the future, we have created something truly unique. The MINI team gave me the confidence and freedom to break new ground in the design of the car. That was a real privilege for me. I think that together we’ve created something really special by going back to basics, stripping things down and purging the car.”
Paul Smith (designer) is mainly known for his menswear collections, which he himself has described as “classic with a twist”, and the use of bright colours and floral patterns in his fashion. He is considered Britain’s most successful designer. Under the Paul Smith brand, clothing, shoes and accessories for women, men and children, as well as perfume, watches, furnishings and other items are offered worldwide through a network of own boutiques and upscale retailers.