The BMW i8 and BMW i3 CrossFade special editions are the results of the collaboration between Garage Italia Customs and BMW. The two one-offs are characterised by a unique livery that uses geometrical shapes for a gradient effect. They will be on show from September 30th inside Pavilion 5 Niveau 1 of the Paris Motor Show.

Following the BMW i8 Futurism Edition last May, a car inspired by Giacomo Balla’s “Street Light” painting, Garage Italia Customs, Lapo Elkann’s creative hub specialized in 360° personalization, renews its collaboration with BMW unveiling the BMW i8 Garage Italia CrossFade and the BMW i3 Garage Italia CrossFade in Paris.

The two one-offs are to celebrating BMW hybrid cars, sophisticated and complicated mechanisms representing the highest expression of the technological progress in this sector today. For this reason, the Garage Italia Customs Style Centre decided to create a livery that would emphasize the true essence of the BMW i philosophy, breaching traditional methods of varnishing. Classic gradient, obtained by the homogeneous fading from one colour to another, has been replaced by a “digital” version. Geometrical shapes of increasing size give the same effect but in a definitely more sophisticated way as well as having a stronger visual impact.

“Technological development and constant search for innovation are common key values to both Garage Italia Customs and BMW,” adds Lapo Elkann, Chairman and Founder of Garage Italia Customs. “BMW i automobiles provide our designers with ideal opportunities for an artistic exploration of the future of mobility. The CrossFade project was a great opportunity to create something beyond the traditional idea of car painting, generating amazing effects with a unique geometrical pattern.”

The technique the Garage Italia Customs maestros used was inspired by the artistic movements of the 19th century like pointillism, divisionism and pop art. Its basis is the optical colour mixing theory, according to which our brain tends to blend adjacent colours giving us the impression of a gradient.
“Lapo Elkann is a pioneer in linking the disciplines of fashion, automobile and design. As a designer, I find this comprehensive approach particularly exciting,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, head of BMW Group Design. “With BMW i, we have been successful in overcoming previous restrictions in automotive design through the use of entirely new materials. So the progressive expressiveness of the Garage Italia CrossFade Edition is perfectly in keeping with the BMW i3 and the BMW i8.”

On the body of the BMW i8 Garage Italia CrossFade, the colour variation – from Protonic Dark Silver metallic on the front to a Protonic Blue metallic rear – further emphasizes the dynamic lines of the car. This effect is also thanks to the choice of using the triangle as the main geometrical shape in the pattern. The result was obtained through a complex procedure: the car, which was metallic Protonic Blue metallic to start with, was first covered in order to produce the desired geometric drawing precisely, then painted with Protonic Dark Silver metallic. We find the same pattern printed on the Alcantara® upholstery of the centre console, door panels and the whole headliner. The seats are upholstered in Foglizzo leather, pierced black Alcantara® and Protonic Blue Alcantara®.

Instead, on the BMW i3 Garage Italia CrossFade the colour variation develops vertically, going from metallic Protonic Blue metallic to black. In this case wrapping has taken the place of varnishing, with an application technique that was thought up especially for the occasion. With the intent to symbolize the pleasure of driving this electric five-door, the technicians of Garage Italia Customs printed a series of round shapes increasing size on transparent film. This film was matched to a transparent glossy film through cold rolling. Both films are produced by 3M. The distinctive colour design is also to be found in the interior, where high-quality textile and Alcantara surfaces additionally emphasise the premium character of the car.

For the presentation of the two BMWs in Paris, Italia Independent has created a unique edition of two pairs of sunglasses with a strong visual impact that match the colours and the futuristic geometrical patterns of the car liveries. The first model, dedicated to the BMW i8, has blue mirrored lenses inside a glossy gray multifaceted mount. The temples are the same pattern, made up of tiny gray and blue triangles which give the particular gradient effect, creating an original digital version fading along the temple. The second pair of sunglasses was inspired by the BMW i3; the colour variation here is found on the mount, which has a squarer shape with silver mirrored lenses. Small circular dots turn from total blue at the top to gray below, changing colour vertically.

The Italia Independent logo completes the personalization of both models, inside the right temple. Inside the left temple, we find the Garage Italia Customs logo followed by the writing “BMW i8 Garage Italia CrossFade Edition” or “BMW i3 Garage Italia CrossFade Edition”.

The main aim of Garage Italia Customs is to place its clients and their creative requirements back “in the spotlight”, in a world that has been more and more standardised and where number prevails over subjectivity.

Just as a tailor-made outfit follows the lines of the body harmoniously, Garage Italia Customs aims at making any vehicle unique, be it a car, a motorbike, a plane, a helicopter or a yacht. It re-elaborates the clients’ very wishes with a tailor-made service that involves the study of detail, balance of the components and research of materials.

The équipe working at Garage Italia Customs is made up of the team that created the Tailor Made service for Ferrari and the best technicians specialised in the automotive sector, specifically in the field of wrapping, painting and upholstery of interiors. They are the “Maestros”, as Lapo Elkann himself defines them, and their unique skills are of absolute excellence in this work. The “Maestros” are backed up by the Style Centre, which is the pulsating heart of all the activities. It is a meeting place for the design team, where the ideas and dreams of clients intersect with the aesthetic taste of the experts of the Garage.

Here, the abstract concepts are elaborated into digital images by use of the most modern technologies. The clients are guided in the choice of the right chromatic combinations and the most refined materials; their taste and needs are respected. While waiting to move to Piazzale Accursio, the Garage Italia Customs operative headquarters are located at 1 Alfredo Pizzoni street, Milan.

Italia Independent is a creative and stylish brand for independent people that blends fashion and design, tradition and innovation. Italia Independent updates Made in Italy by revisiting classic icons, operating in the eyewear field and creating lifestyle products belonging to different sectors, exporting the Italian style into a global world.

High resolution images for download here.