Job Smeets brings styling of Firmship boats to Land Rover Defender

  • by

Designer Job Smeets has collaborated with Firmship – the yacht brand of former Moooi CEO Casper Vissers – to create a limited-edition Land Rover Defender defined by the same stark minimalism and historic references as its ships.

Made in a limited run of 25, the SUV has a stripped-back monochrome look both inside and out.

Its exterior is finished in Firmship’s signature colour RAL 7035 – a light grey that was selected for its versatility and timelessness.

Yacht brand Firmship has customised a Land Rover Defender in the style of its boats

According to Firmships, it is the perfect neutral with no cool or warm overtones so it can complement a wide range of colours and materials including wood, metals, concrete and glass.

To emphasise durability, Firmship has sprayed the car with a lacquer that it says is the strongest and toughest metal lacquer available in the world, used in bulldozers and public phone boxes in the US.

“It gives the Defender a tactile surface texture,” the company said. “If you touch the Firmship Defender, you feel something strong but silent.”

The car design features historical references

Firmship was founded by Vissers to build luxury vessels that nod to classic boats. Its latest model, the Firmship 55, references the forms and detailing of an archetypal workboat like a fishing boat.

To promote the brand, the company is “firmshipping” products from other brands, which it feels share the same design philosophy.

This involves reimagining the products in the same style as Firmship’s boats, starting with the Land Rover Defender.

The lacquer creates a tactile surface

“The brand stands for longevity and adopts revised iconic archetypes with today’s newest technology,” said Vissers.

“We are a start-up and new in the business, so to express this philosophy we believe we should connect to other ‘firm’ brands who have already built an iconic design, like the Defender.”

The car is a collaboration with designer Job Smeets 

The Dutch entrepreneur defines “firm” brands as ones that outlast trends and says he admires the Defender, which was launched in 1948, as one of the best examples of such an object.

The Jaguar Land Rover brand was not initially involved in the customisation; Vissers’ team simply bought a Defender and “firmshipped” it on their own initiative.

But Visser says that Jaguar Landrover BeNeLux CEO Marc Bienemann ended up liking the result and now it can be ordered through participating dealerships.

The interior is designed in the same minimalist monochrome style

Aside from the paint finish, Firmship’s eye towards the past is reflected in the British Heritage rims of the Land Rover, a revised version of the car’s original wheels.

Its interior, meanwhile, was designed to be completely harmonious with the outside, with leather and fabric seats that feature horizontal ribbing in a nod to early Defenders.

Smeets said that while he might not be known for restraint in his more provocative work with Studio Job, minimalism is “simply like using another palette”.

“Whether I am working for Hermès, Swarovski or Firmship, I adjust the lens through which I’m looking,” said Smeets. “It still has the Job vision on its clever details or bold appearance but this time it’s with texture, stark blankness and boldness in its monochrome.”


Job Smeets fills Hermès windows with characters celebrating “dystopian” summer

Smeets has been working with Firmship since Vissers commissioned its first boat design, the Firmship 42, for his personal use in 2010. Vissers had intended to commercialise the boat design but said his plans were put on hold by the financial crisis.

To Smeets, “Firmship is really about friendship” because it allowed him to help Vissers “realise a dream”.

“Studio Job will always be my biggest creative challenge because it’s so complex and it wants to renew constantly,” he said. “Studio Job is my art. Firmship feels like cruising along, floating. Enjoying.”

The ribbing on the seats nods to classic Defender styling

Vissers’ other projects since Moooi include the furniture and lighting brand Revised.

Studio Job’s recent work has included a dystopia window installation for fashion brand Hermès and a lava lamp inspired by actual lava.

The studio also has experience customising Land Rover Defenders, having created a more colourful version in 2013 that was designed to resemble “a Popemobile for an African chief”.

The post Job Smeets brings styling of Firmship boats to Land Rover Defender appeared first on Dezeen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.