Citroën DS4 inspires passion in creative people
21 Nov. 2011
Fashion designer Johanna Pihl and musician Sam Alexander have both been inspired by Citroën's stylish new DS4. The high-riding coupé crossover represents a design breakthrough for Citroën with functionality and great looks working together.
"Reinterpreting cues opened up new possibilities, bringing practical and surprising solutions to automotive mobility" says Marc Pinson, DS4's chief stylist.
For Johanna Pihl, her designs reflect the attitude of DS4 - a mix of form and function, masculine and feminine.
'As soon as I could walk and talk, I wanted to choose my own clothes,' she says. 'My mother tells me that I always had really strong opinions about what I wanted to wear. I simply hated dresses and only wore trousers.'
As she grew up, Johanna was influenced by her grandmother - a woman who possessed an impressive wardrobe of tailor-made clothes and this inspiration took her on a journey from Sweden to Hackey, London.
Now aged 28, she's a fashion designer - graduate from London College of Fashion. She's also being hailed a rising star in London and Paris because her clothes, like DS4, stand out from the crowd.
Her designs combine her tomboy streak with elegance and sleek lines: 'When I was a little girl, I never had any dolls,' she remembers. 'I played cops and robbers, and with cars. I loved climbing trees. Even today I have more male friends than I have girlfriends. So it seems only natural that I want my clothes to have a masculine feel.'
Sam Alexander, meanwhile, is the leading light behind the musical collective Eri Okan - a band that's part social campaigners, part social outreach workers and part entertainers. To reflect the creative process that resulted in DS4, the band composed a piece in honour of the car, featuring a hypnotic drum crescendo.
'You don't have to be singing songs about boyfriends and girlfriends and love to have a good time,' says Sam. His band's philosophy is that you don't take on misery in the world by being miserable.
Eri Okan's music has its roots in Brazilian samba and reggae. Their life-affirming rhythms are performed in English, Portuguese and Yoruba and infused with social commentary.
Ultimately then, Eri Okan are about challenging the status quo; never giving up on making things better. 'The adolescent within me keeps asking: "Why should I do that? Why is the world like this?" says Sam. 'I think that attitude has helped me stay young at heart. And I definitely don't want to lose it.'