The SEMA Show in Las Vegas is a form where car designers can totally let loose. There are no rules, no convention, and no limits. The result is a panoply of vehicles that wouldn't see the light of day were it not for the crazy creativity that SEMA requires for admission.
As we walked around the show this year, we were dumbstruck by the inventiveness on display. Not just the cars, which as a whole are breathtaking, but the elements of the autos in question: their finishes, fabrics, contours, and cuts.
Gallery: SEMA Show 2022: Inspiring Details
After viewing our curated gallery of detail photos from SEMA, it's no surprise that automotive design is used as the inspiration for many other products in our lives. After all, designers of one industry use the work of designers from another industry as inspiration all the time. The glint of a car's paint color could inspire the hue used on a running shoe just like the stitching pattern on a driver seat could inspire the same shoe's tongue design.
We bring up shoes not by accident, but because we've recently encountered Metal Energy, a line of shoes and apparel from Puma that draws its own inspiration from famous automakers and the metallic finishing on their cars. Ferrari, BMW M, Mercedes-AMG, and Porsche are all represented in Metal Energy, and each shoe takes the same sort of cues from those high-end automakers' products as we're seeing on so many other inspiring show cars at SEMA this year. Things like color, texture, sheen, and shape.
For instance, the Scuderia Ferrari Speedcat Driving Shoes from Metal Energy feature a swoop of red that perfectly captures the Italian automaker's famous Rosso Corsa red in fabric. Meanwhile, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Speedcat Driving Shoes do that same swoop in a glistening turquoise sheen that looks lifted straight from Sir Lewis' F1 car.
That type of connection between car and the product of its inspiration has us wondering what the many designers walking around Las Vegas this week might come up with next. Based on what we saw, the results should be spectacular.