Petra Fagerstrom wins the Mercedes-Benz Sustainability Prize

Petra Fagerstrom wins the Mercedes-Benz Sustainability Prize

by Eric Brain
3 min

Petra Fagerstrom has won the Mercedes-Benz Sustainability Prize at the 38th Festival d’Hyères. In an increasing effort to push for sustainability, Mercedes-Benz champions designers using upcycled materials (some of which were derived from the marque’s passenger cars) to create their looks – and it was Petra Fagerstrom that took pole position for the 38th Festival d’Hyères’ Fashion Jury, headed by Charles de Vilmorin.

To spotlight the competition, and subsequently the winner, Mercedes-Benz enlisted the work of the Berlin-based sculptor Michael Sailstorfer, notably using his piece that’s inspired by the Mercedes-Benz C111. The car was an apt choice, as it is arguably Mercedes-Benz’s most conceptual design ever – being a series of experimental automobiles produced in the 1960s and ‘70s. Often, the C111 was used as a testbed for things that are now quintessential of the marque, such as Gullwing doors, turbocharging, and more. 

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The campaign is fronted by the emerging talent advocate Julia Hobbs, and rising star, actor and model Yannick Konan – the latter of whom took Culted behind the scenes at the shoot. Photographer Kristin-Lee Moolman takes the campaign as an opportunity to explore sustainability further, spotlighting the C111 art car (which is based on a Mercedes-Benz 190E) alongside the fashion designs made by the finalists. 

Here, we find the likes of Konan wearing white trousers infused with cabling, gothic mesh neck-high dresses, and conceptual avant-garde leather tailcoats – with it all being made from materials such as airbags, seat covers and belts, sun blinds, convertible roof fabric and floor mats.

Per Mercedes-Benz, the newly-introduced guest mentor Sandra Sándor, Founder and Creative Director of Nanushka, along with Orsola de Castro and Tamsin Blanchard of Estethica, provided further insight: “It has proven to be so inspiring to work alongside the Hyères fashion finalists on their sustainability journey. Seeing their approaches to working around sustainable solutions, aesthetically as well as practically, these young talents show us that we must continue to be creatively inquisitive. We appreciate the support (and, for the 2023 cohort also the beautiful materials!) that Mercedes-Benz continues to provide for their formation.”

@culted BTS at the @Mercedes-Benz x Festival d’Hyères with @Black Ken The campaign features the ‘C111’ artwork by Michael Sailstorfer alongside fashion finalists’ looks for the Mercedes-Benz Sustainability Prize awarded at Festival d’Hyères, upcycling materials from Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. #yannickkonan #mercedesbenz #festivaldhyeres ♬ original sound – CULTED

Julia Hofmann, Head of Branded Entertainment & Brand Partnerships Mercedes-Benz AG, added: “At Mercedes-Benz, we have been engaging in fashion on a global scale for almost 30 years. Our heartfelt congratulations to Petra Fagerstrom. We look forward to continue seeing her apply the skills acquired through our Mentorship and wish her lots of success in her future career path.”

The Festival d’Hyères Fashion Jury, headed by Charles de Vilmorin, concluded by stating: “The quality of her work is absolutely magnificent. We felt the need and the sense Petra wanted to give to the circularity and choice of materials she used for this look.”

Petra Fagerstrom is now set to win a monetary prize courtesy of Mercedes-Benz. Take a look at the campaign above. 

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