Stuttgart/Oslo. Jazzelle Zanaughtti (@UglyWorldWide) has kick-started Mercedes-Benz' latest How To fashion story with an interactive event in Oslo. Following talks on e-mobility and test drives with the Mercedes Benz EQC - Mercedes-Benz' first fully electric vehicle - guests joined Jazzelle, who brought her unique style and energy to learning to vogue; a truly unique experience made possible by Mercedes-Benz who answered the model's call to learn how to master the energetic dance form properly.
Thanks to renaissance figures like Kiddy Smile and Brooke Candy, 'voguing' is a more popular form of dance than ever before. Often showcased at 'balls', the dance spectacle causes the audience to become increasingly animated - erasing the border between performer and spectator.
With the help of voguing expert Jay Jay Revlon, Jazzelle mastered how to vogue properly, before the industry-shaping model shared her newly acquired skills with guests - arranged in teams of up to 15 - demonstrating voguing herself before offering them an introductory session. The objective was for guests, which spanned both the press and public, to gain a deeper understanding of this art form and its history, so they too could learn how to express themselves through dance.
The unique experience culminated in a performance which saw each team invited to the electric dancefloor, one-by-one or in pairs, to show their mastery of 'voguing' and celebrate their individuality. Energy generated by the group's performance powered the floor to light up, demonstrating the electric expression of the EQC.
Jazzelle and the EQC on display were styled in looks by New-York based fashion designer, Christian Cowan, who was on-site to guide Jazzelle on the styling elements of a vogue ball. Mercedes-Benz and Jazzelle continued to support Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talents designers, with Amesh Wijesekera, William Fan also being worn on the day.
'Learning something new can be scary', Jazzelle said, 'but in the end it's a liberating experience! Especially when that something new is performing for others! Jay Jay was a really amazing teacher and came they with an amazing energy that made me feel super comfortable to just fully go for it! voguing is a lot more physically demanding than I imagined but having Jay Jay, Christian and Donté by my side was really motivating. Overcoming that fear and succeeding at a new skill is a really special feeling for me and really makes me feel like my potential is limitless. Going out of my comfort zone is one of the best ways to grow as a person I think, if not the only one!'
Self-improvement is at the core of Mercedes-Benz' DNA, and is deeply rooted in the EQC, which launches this autumn. An innovation leader inside and out, Mercedes-Benz' electric vehicles are set to drive us towards a cleaner future of mobility, and demonstrate fundamental shared values with the How To story: the ambition to self-improve and curioristy to change.
On Jazzelle's How To journey in Oslo, Bettina Haussmann, Head of Branded Entertainment Mercedes-Benz Cars said 'We are delighted to have Jazzelle with us at the EQC test drive camp in Oslo, bringing her unique energy to learning a new skill. The Vogue ball represents an important milestone for Mercedes-Benz, with the How To collaborations seeing Mercedes-Benz continue to drive creativity forward and demonstrate the magic that happens when you think outside the box.'
The next chapter of the How To story is told by Lena Waithe, who will discover and learn from industry luminaries in the field of upcycling at an exclusive event in London during London Fashion Week Men's, June 2019.
She's walked the runway for Rihanna's Savage x Fenty line, graced the cover of Interview and i-D magazines, and appeared in Nike campaigns and Vogue editorials, but Jazzelle Zanaughtti is so much more than a model. Through her Instagram @UglyWorldWide, the Detroit native upends traditional notions of beauty by posting images of her captivating, gender-defying looks and encourages others to do the same. As the 23-year-old's 540k+ followers prove, her message has struck a chord, namely with legendary fashion photographer Nick Knight to whom she has played muse since 2016 when he stumbled across her account.
About How To
How To is the latest iteration of Mercedes-Benz' #mbcollective fashion story, which is dedicated to championing emerging fashion talent and bringing people from different creative spheres together to generate pioneering ideas. Throughout 2019, the platform will see a cast of leading creatives from around the world spend a day with experts learning a new skill, before demonstrating how to do it. Stepping outside your comfort zone is never easy, and on this journey of self-growth, the participants will motivate and inspire with their stories of strength of character and determination, as well as break down stereotypes. The 2019 #mbcollective protagonists comprise some of the most exciting names in the worlds of film, music and fashion; aside from Zanaughtti, screenwriter Lena Waithe, singer Rina Sawayama and menswear designer Samuel Ross will also take part. Members of the public will be invited to participate in a masterclass so that they too can increase their creative agility and in turn improve themselves.
The How To fashion story is just one signifier of Mercedes-Benz' evolution from automobile company to mobility solutions provider, developing unique offerings for car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking, charging and multimodal transport. Through combining pioneering technology and unparalleled engineering, Mercedes-Benz is making moves to reduce traffic in urban areas, minimize pollution and dynamism.
More than just cars, Mercedes-Benz is about constant innovation, recognising people's ambitions and adapting to facilitate them; learning how to increase mobility in a holistic sense.
Follow @MercedesBenzFashion to explore @UglyWorldWide's journey to learn a new skill from experts. #BenzKnowsHow #MercedesBenzFashion
Ten years of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talents
In 2009 Mercedes-Benz established the group's own programme,
'Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talents', to support young people in the world of fashion. The goal has been to help pave the way for talented designers to enter the fashion sector outside of their home markets and provide them with support in their international careers. Over the past ten years, as part of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talents the automotive manufacturer has enabled shows to be held for more than 90 aspiring designers on approximately 30 platforms around the world, including in Milan, London, Prague, Istanbul and Berlin. The programme is growing continually and is being extended on an on-going basis with new initiatives and partnerships. The overview of engagement is updated on a yearly basis.
24 years of Mercedes-Benz fashion activities
Over a period of 24 years Mercedes-Benz has established itself worldwide as a major player in the fashion industry and title sponsor of selected fashion weeks and events. The brand is currently active at about 80 fashion events in more than 40 countries, including the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weeks which take place in Sydney, Mexico City, London, Madrid, Tbilisi and Berlin, and also the famous International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Fashion Accessories in Hyères. Furthermore, since 2017 Mercedes-Benz has been a member of the Fashion Council Germany (FCG) and since 2018 a member of the German Fashion Designers Federation e.V. (GFDF). The overview of engagement is updated on a yearly basis.