This article originally appeared in Vanity Fair
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The New Genesis Mint Concept Car Is a Marvel of Design and Sustainability
The all-electric two-seater lightweight runabout debuts in New York City with a fashion show by Prabal Gurung.
At the intersection of art, music, design, sustainability, urban life, and global community, the new Genesis Mint Concept premiered in a spellbinding multi-media experience on April 16 in Hudson Yards, the soaring, architecture-driven neighborhood that’s become an instant destination. Genesis’s first all-electric vehicle is a worldwide effort with contributions from design studios in Europe, Asia, and North America.
In the thrilling event titled “Small Car, Big Apple,” guests were treated to a fashion show by internationally acclaimed designer Prabal Gurung; singing from Vy Higginsen’s Sing Harlem Choir; new choreography from Andrew Winghart; a remixed version of Foxes’ hit song “Rise Up” by Music Director Venus Brown and musical artists from a range of genres; and sculptures by Michael Keller depicting city-dweller totems—a designer handbag, lipstick, headphones—at colossal scale. But the star of the evening was the Genesis Mint Concept, a surprisingly pared-down, all-electric luxury car created for a sustainable, cosmopolitan lifestyle.
Manfred Fitzgerald, the Global Head of the Genesis brand, kicked off the event: “Tonight, we’re about to show you our interpretation of an all-electric city car—a two-door passenger car, which sports a fascinating, innovative interior and a stunning new user experience. It has some really cool features, such as a swivel bench seat, which invites you into the vehicle by turning to you, and a dash that syncs to this movement.”
“To present this urban experience, we chose to embed it in a fashion show curated by Prabal Gurung, the Nepalese-American fashion designer who is based right here in New York,” Fitzgerald said. “And I would like to thank Stephen Ross, the philanthropist, real-estate developer, and the visionary who is responsible for the creation of this magnificent new landmark in New York, the Hudson Yards.”
“New York has become Genesis’s second home, where we present our new concept cars to the world,” he continued. “This incredible city, with its vibes, its colors, its sounds, its diversity, is the ideal backdrop to introduce our newest creation, the Genesis Mint Concept, a small car for the Big Apple.” Fitzgerald also announced that their newest showroom will open in Hudson Yards and the first Genesis brand house will be located in the Meatpacking District.
With that, the inspiring opening notes of “Rise Up,” as interpreted by Venus Brown, Printz Board and Isaac Floyd, TOKiMONSTA, Lipstick Gypsy, and Tainy, filled the space, and troupe of local New York City dancers began to perform custom choreography by Andrew Winghart. The band was accompanied by Vy Higginsen’s Sing Harlem Choir, a renowned ensemble of talented teenagers whose optimism and enthusiasm underscored the importance of designing for the future.
The kinetic fashion show featured brightly colored looks from Prabal Gurung’s Resort and Spring ’19 N.Y.F.W. runway, including men’s wear. The models walked in a fast-paced, counter-clockwise circle on the plaza in the opposite direction to the dancers, all clad in black, in a mesmerizing urban ballet. “The collections come together to tell a story of an empowered, global explorer, a nomad on a journey to enrich his or her life with a cross-cultural exchange,” Gurung said in an earlier interview. “We tell this story through bold hues, graphic lines, sharp suiting, delicate chiffons juxtaposed with rich hand embroidery.” He added, “Fashion has the ability to transform our culture to be more accepting, equitable, constructive, stronger, and colorful.”
SangYup Lee, the head of the Genesis Design Center who helped spearhead the concept along with Chief Design Officer Luc Donckerwolke, was interviewed before the event. “The Genesis Mint Concept car respects and has been tailored to today’s urban life,” he said. “Our challenge was to visualize a scaled-down interpretation of the Genesis design philosophy: ‘Athletic Elegance.’” He described the exterior aesthetic and features: “Finished in a matte hunter-green color, the Mint stretches a three-box design to the corners with short front and rear overhangs. We evolved known Genesis DNA elements such as the quad lamps, crest grill, parabolic line, and G-matrix specifically for the Genesis Mint Concept car.”
The interior is just as thoughtfully designed, incorporating state-of-the-art tech and “influences from the Korean tradition and modern European furniture design,” he said. “The Genesis Mint Concept takes advantage of every cubic inch. The unique horizontal space for two riders is made into a private luxury space through the use of lightweight textiles, cognac leather, and mullion-free windows.” The Mint will also be presented at the New York Auto Show, which runs April 19 through 28.
“Genesis design conveys progressive value to customers for a better lifestyle in a sustainable way,” added SangYup Lee. Prabal Gurung agrees: “Now more than ever, we must act responsibly; however, I’ve always believed that quality and glamour can’t be sacrificed,” he said. “The Genesis all-electric car is a sleek design with a positive impact—for me, there’s nothing more luxurious than that!”
Genesis is a design-focused luxury brand that embodies the philosophy of athletic elegance. The Genesis product lineup consists of the flagship G90 luxury sedan, the G80 and G80 Sport midsize luxury sedans, and the G70 luxury sport sedan, which was named 2019 North American Car of the Year. In 2018, Genesis was the highest-ranked brand in the automotive industry awards for quality and owner satisfaction by respected, third-party experts, including Consumer Reports, J.D. Power, and AutoPacific.
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