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Sportswear designer styles for Nissan

Thu, 05 Oct 2006 "It's not a mash-up. It's a double-label," says sportswear stylist Marc Ecko of his partnership with Nissan in North America.

Ecko has worked with Nissan to create co-branded Pathfinder and Armada vehicles in keeping with Ecko's sportswear clothing line.

Ecko customized the vehicles to create 'bold, urban designs' like that of his own sportswear label. "That's the direction we took," says Ecko, "like what you'd see in sneaker culture but elevated to the automobile. It's cooler than what other auto makers might do."

Ecko is designing new exterior and interior trim for each of the vehicles.

The Pathfinder, called *ecko unltd., will get a new grille, black and gray camouflage paint, and orange details, along with molded wood backs for its seats and a gloss console treatment with orange details and a wood steering wheel.

"I wanted to make it crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle," explains Ecko. "The interior should be more luxurious in a mid-60s kind of motif. I studied the interiors of old hot rods, where they bring enamel paint finish, and I brought the bright candy-like surfaces to the inside of the vehicle. It has a street style sensibility but it's very downtown. I wanted to have more of a luxe quality in the finishing, and that's why there'll be so much detail in the interior."

The Nissan Armada, called Cut & Sew, meanwhile, is a more 'sophisticated' in its styling with off-white landau roof, smooth wheel covers, and whitewall tyres, with orange exterior panels and a cream-and-tan interior.

"I'm a big fan of whitewall tires, especially the thick ones," says Ecko. "So we came up with a wheel design that's a modern play on the whitewall, where the rims are really deep. So that's what started the inspiration off - making a statement about the whitewall. We basically just smoothed out the Armada, took off all the performance/outdoorsy qualities and subbed in sophisticated touches like traditional Florentine leather with straps and buckles...[to create] a satchel bag look in the interior."

By Ryan Borroff