A few days later, Mr. Tamura, who had received the swatch, called me to reply.
I checked the sample. I would like to see it in the yellow color you suggested. Let's go with steel silver for the trim color. And I don't want to use carbon fiber because I want the overall impression to be bright. Why don't we go with a combination on the sides as well?"
With my first suggestion on thin ice, I was a little relieved that I had led them to the first correct answer. However, I wondered if it was really the right decision to forcefully suggest the yellow color of the Z proto, which I had only seen in pictures, and with the sample leather that Elena had given me.
We wanted to use the new Z Proto-spec Idea Corsa at an upcoming promotional event, so we needed it as soon as possible, if at all possible. Of course,Once the project has started running, there is no stopping it.
In any case, we need to finish making it in perfect condition without any mistakes. With many uncertainties in mind, we began sample production, which could never go wrong. In order to prevent mistakes, all cutting is done by hand using a knife, and of course the leather straining process to thin out the details of the leather is also done at the Negroni factory. The moment the blade enters the leather, I felt a strong tension. The moment a mistake is made, it is impossible to reproduce it, and moreover, the first time you work with leather you have never handled before, trouble is bound to occur. The soleing process was also done by a limited number of hands. The laces were originally intended to be white, but in order to suppress color halos, we applied a dyeing process to just one pair of laces and arranged them in a light gray, which was not previously available in the lineup.
October 1, 2020.
Tamura: "Can you come to Yokohama now?
Just today,Z can be seen at the best time."
In a phone call to inform that the shoes were finished,
Mr. Tamura offered me a "face-to-face meeting with the real Z prototype," which I had not expected at all.
The location was the Nissan Pavilion at Yokohama Minato Mirai. The day of the event was a day when the museum was closed for maintenance.
For the past two weeks, I have been looking at images of the Z proto so much that holes were poking in my monitor. But as the shoes neared completion, my concerns about the color grew by the day. The shoes under the factory lights seemed almost lime green in color as the stitching progressed, and the promotional images of the Z on the monitor and mobile screen looked distinctly pale yellow. The shoes placed in front of the monitor screen seemed distinctly different compared to the images. If I compared it to the actual Z, the color would be very different. The proposal came so suddenly that I was even more worried, but of course, this was a unique opportunity and "not going" was not an option.
That same evening, I followed Mr. Tamura to the pavilion. I followed Mr. Tamura through the pavilion's service entrance and passed through a series of inorganic doors to find myself in a space with an exceptionally high ceiling. Linked to the slender semi-circular floor line, dozens of organic wood panels layered like pillars extended to the ceiling, giving the sensation of being under the trunk of a large tree. Looking up, one sees a large studio frame with countless downlights and a sound system hanging from it. Contrary to the enormous space of the pavilion, there are only a few people working on it at that time.
The monitor sound of various test videos reverberates on the huge screen that covers the venue, which is a testament to the scale of the event that usually takes place. I was told that the Nissan Pavilion at this time of the year is so packed with people viewing the Z prototypes on display that admission is restricted.
On this day, the pavilion was closed. As Mr. Tamura said,
It was truly "the day to see Z at its best.
Mr. Tamura walked quickly ahead of me and I saw a yellow body.
We can see that Z prototype in this most luxurious environment.
I was elated to be able to see the Z prototype in this most luxurious environment,
I fearfully took the Idea Corsa out of the box,
I placed it next to the dazzling Z-Proto.
As it moved away from my hand, it was bathed in a strong spotlight.
I felt the color of the leather gradually change.
The color of Idea Corsa, placed for the first time next to the Z Proto, assimilated with the body color, as if a part of the upper was melting away. It was such an amazing approximation of color that Miyabe, the creator, and even Mr. Tamura, who was standing next to him, were speechless. It was so close that it created a visual illusion. We were just gazing at the scene in front of us, brought about by the chance encounter between the products.
Tamura: "Mr. Miyabe, let's do it. I think now is the right time."
We immediately realized that what he meant when he said "let's do it" was to "put this product in front of the world.
And there was no doubt in my mind that the shoes made of yellow leather, drawn together by a private coincidence, would turn into an unimaginably large project.
The vision of what the product should aim to be is the sight in front of me,
told the story more than anything else.
Continue to <3>.
Photography: Nissan Motor Co.
Text: Shuhei Miyabe / NEGRONI