It shouldn’t be a surprise that after working on a concept involving a Canfield sports watch, a Runwell bicycle, and a duffle bag, luxury brands Shinola and Lincoln would decide to keep the partnership going. This time, the two have gone straight to the top, dropping a seriously unexpected new release. In a move out of the left field, the automotive icon and the Detroit-championing Shinola unveiled an SUV concept at this year’s 2022 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
The Lincoln Aviator Shinola concept pulls on the Shinola brand, specifically incorporating the iconic stripe in the woven textile of the seats in all three rows. “The goal is to impress occupants with our very own expression of craftsmanship, showcasing our meticulous attention to detail. This strip is unlike anything I’ve ever seen sewn into a vehicle, so we wanted to make sure it was done with care,” said Liam Butler, Lincoln’s colour and material designer.
“Shinola opened up their showroom to us as a playground – allowing us to explore how their brand’s lifestyle ethos could be woven into a new theme for one of our vehicles,” explained Kemal Curic, the design director at Lincoln. “Our designers were handed a rare gift, and they made the most of it. The fresh insights our team gained studying popular design motifs make this new Aviator concept a true celebration of craftsmanship.”
The stripe is in addition to the whiskey leather Shinola is famous for, which comes with its own unique soft touch and luxurious smell. You’ll also find Shinola’s iconic mother-of-pearl stone watch dials playing into the Aviator’s exterior. Copper accents – a nod to the Runwell bike – add elegant highlights as well.
“It’s all about warm, human and personally crafted experiences,” said Butler. “All true to Lincoln DNA, and knowing and feeling that quality of a leather watch strap on your wrist. That’s what we wanted to re-create here, in everything from the stitching to the copper accents to the various textures – all tying back to the idea of Quiet Flight.”
It’s a unique collaboration that doesn’t exactly introduce anything new, but more an elevated version of something that already exists. Considering both brands have managed to carve out their own corner of American nostalgia, having a mixed-use SUV that drives the ethos is a sure-fire answer. According to Shinola CEO, Shannon Washburn, the project was all about bringing common themes to light.
“After our initial meeting with the Lincoln team, it was clear we shared the same passion for well-designed, beautifully crafted products. Designers from both brands came together to create an ultra-luxe vehicle that still embodies Shinola’s aesthetic of approachable luxury with thoughtful details. You can see this in the touches of copper inspired by our bike seats and the brand strip incorporated into the leather seats.”
Sadly for watch and car fans alike, the Lincoln Aviator x Shinola watches collaboration remains only a concept.