Tamae Hirokawa's Design IQ

Designers do what they can to keep up exposure and capital in an expanding and over-saturated industry. Fast-fashion capsule collections notwithstanding, we’ve recently seen an influx of fashion and corporate collaborations that cross conventional lines, with results that range from practical and unique to disappointingly two-dimensional.

But a recent collaboration between Toyota and Issey Miyake-trained designer Tamae Hirokawa of Somarta is anything but flat. The multi-talented Hirokawa has given the Japanese car company’s zippy compact iQ a savvy do-over, resulting in an eye-popping product that’s more than an automobile.

Hirokawa has been widely recognized for extravagantly styled shows, and she brings this artistic flair to the iQ. From the dashboard to the gas pedals of the car, every surface became a canvas for her artistic whims. For instance, Hirowaka’s signature intricate, technologically advanced and durable knitwear now covers the iQ seats, while the entire interior is covered in metallic circuitry-like embossing.

Unfortunately this incarnation of the iQ is just a showpiece that will travel to several exhibitions before disappearing into Toyota’s headquarters, but Hirokawa ‘s artistic contribution has given it the perfect creative edge.

—Misha Janette

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