Family drive

Laura Dern and son Ellery Harper take a road trip for Proenza Schouler’s Mercedes-Benz collab
By Ella Joyce | Fashion | 10 November 2021
Above:

Mercedes-Benz x Proenza Schouler / photography by Harley Weir

An ode to the Great American road trip has arrived in the form of a gender-neutral capsule collection from New York-based fashion house Proenza Schouler in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz, coming together on a shared vision of sustainability and style. Academy-award winning Laura Dern stars alongside her son Ellery Harper in the accompanying campaign shot by renowned photographer Harley Weir in the British countryside. Dern is no stranger to the open road after her breakout role in David Lynch’s Wild at Heart, however this time the actor is joined by her son Ellery, highlighting the collection’s ability to transcend across generations.

This is not the first time the German automobile franchise has ventured into the fashion industry having previously worked with the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, however, this collaboration with Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez positions the importance of sustainability at the fore: blankets are made from recycled cashmere (luxury road trip essentials) while trenches and t-shirts are produced from eco-cotton, all in an array of earthy tones akin to the artfully chosen backdrop of the Dorset countryside. Below we chat to the Proenza Schouler design duo about the concept behind the collaboration, and to Ellery who recalls his most memorable road trip through Arizona.

Mercedes-Benz x Proenza Schouler / photography by Harley Weir

Ellery Harper

Ella Joyce: Can you share your experiences of the shoot? What was it like working with your mum and Harley Weir?
Ellery Harper: Working with my mom was great, I love to travel with my family and getting to see Dorset with her and travel around England was incredible. Working with Harley was so incredible, I learned so much in just one day. Her attention to detail is beautiful and the way she is able to accurately verbalise what she is imagining her shot to look like is very special. I could almost tell a special picture as she was taking it.

EJ: You shot in Dorset, can you take us through some of the locations?
EH: Dorset had some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen, walking around the area with some headphones on is a one of a kind experience. Also being able to go around Devon was amazing as well. Being able to be in the New Forest and then the beach ten minutes later was awesome.

EJ: In the spirit of road trips, do you have a particular one that sticks in your memory?
EH: A road trip I took with my older brother and my mom was definitely one of my most memorable road trips, even trips overall. We drove to Lake Powell and stayed around Utah and Arizona. Lake Powell is the most unbelievable place I’ve ever been and that trip was a really special moment in my life.

EJ: Away from this campaign, you released your first EP earlier this year, can you tell us more about what’s next for you in terms of your music?
EH: I’ve been working on music all day every day for the past few months. I’m really trying to push myself and right now get as much music out of me that I possibly can. I have a show in New York soon where I will perform at my good friend Dash Zamm’s event, and I plan to release an album within the next few months.

Mercedes-Benz x Proenza Schouler / photography by Harley Weir

Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez

Ella Joyce: Can you talk us through the collection and how you’ve interpreted the Mercedes-Benz brand?
Proenza Schouler: Our foray into sustainable initiatives at Proenza Schouler got us thinking about working on a collaboration that celebrated this approach in other industries. We have always deeply respected the Mercedes-Benz brand, it’s been baked into the public’s imagination (and ours) for decades, and recently the brand’s commitment to clean energy through the introduction of the new electric EQ model is something that particularly drew us in.

EJ: Why did the idea of an American road trip appeal?
PS: The Great American Road Trip was a storyline that we felt related to both Proenza Schouler and Mercedes-Benz, for obvious reasons. The storyline found its way into material exploration with a layered focus on sustainability, and the same design intentions behind our brand collections, which is always to create lasting luxury fashion for our customer.

EJ: What was it that drew you to did Laura Dern and Ellery Harper? How do they help capture your vision?
PS: Laura is an iconic woman we have had the pleasure of getting to know over the years. She is someone that represents so many of the values we hold dear, and she was the first person we thought of for this project. The idea for Ellery was directed from the campaign’s narrative of two people on a journey – the obvious answer would have been to pin the traditional love story narrative, but the relationship between mother and child, something that transcended generations and sexes, felt more compelling to us and painted a fuller, lusher picture of the values we wanted to communicate.

GALLERYMercedes-Benz x Proenza Schouler / photography by Harley Weir

The Mercedes-Benz x Proenza Schouler collection is available now at www.proenzaschouler.com, Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, and Selfridges in London.

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