Volvo takes cues from the fashion industry to develop its new V60 Cross Country

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    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

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    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)
    <p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Designing an automobile and designing a fashion collection are more similar than you’d think. In particular,&nbsp;Volvo’s 2020 V60 Cross Country&nbsp;takes cues from both the fashion industry and Scandinavian culture in its newest design iteration for the Volvo wagon. It might be Volvo’s most stylish and functional car yet.” data-reactid=”31″>Designing an automobile and designing a fashion collection are more similar than you’d think. In particular, Volvo’s 2020 V60 Cross Country takes cues from both the fashion industry and Scandinavian culture in its newest design iteration for the Volvo wagon. It might be Volvo’s most stylish and functional car yet.

    As someone who grew up in Los Angeles driving through congested freeways and neighborhood streets and then navigated New York City as a fashion editor, Volvo, in my mind, has always placed safety first (which is still true), but it wasn’t a company I’d say was “fashionable.” This has changed with one key hire: Robin Page. He worked as Volvo’s head of interior design from 2013 to 2017 and then was appointed to Volvo’s senior vice president of design. Before joining Volvo, Page worked as the head of interior design at Bentley. With Page’s keen eye for luxurious design, he brought a new level of sophistication and style to the Volvo brand.

    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

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    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

    I had the opportunity of test driving the V60 Cross Country in Luleå, Sweden, earlier this year. Coming strictly from a style perspective, I was immediately impressed by the vehicle’s sleek and stylish exterior and its luxurious interior, including the amenities, craftsmanship and high-level design details.

    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

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    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

    My standout favorite features include the 12.3” large digital display with Spotify capabilities (as well as GPS, telephone, and climate control — of course), supreme speaker sound, its panoramic moonroof, and of course ergonomic, dreamy leather seats.

    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

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    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

    Whether I was driving on snow, ice or asphalt, the car ran smoothly and swiftly. It was hard to believe it was a Volvo wagon.

    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

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    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

    However, it took two years of ideation, research, design and development to get to this point.

    “The process in developing a fashion collection is similar to the way we create collections or trim level choices in order to offer options to fulfill our customers’ needs,” Page, Volvo senior vice president of design, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo) Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

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    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

    “The main difference between fashion and the automotive industry is the time to market,” says Page. “The complexity of designing and engineering a car means it takes much longer – we don’t talk about seasons but model year introductions.” Typically, for a completely new vehicle, Page says it could take four years from first research and sketching to start of production. However, “for a car like the Cross Country, which is a version of an existing car, it’s more like two years.”

    Still, Volvo has to take into consideration the trends and styles consumers will want in two to four years’ time, versus six months in the fashion industry. It’s a tall order when design goes hand-in-hand with safety too, but Volvo accomplishes both with ease.

    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo) Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

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    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

    Over the last century, one can argue that cars have largely become an extension of a person’s sense of style (albeit a pricy one). However, the way Volvo sees it, a car can complement one’s lifestyle, like a pair of shoes or an item of clothing, but not necessarily be the centerpiece. “You could argue that some brands’ styling has become extreme caricature…and shout loudly. At Volvo, we prefer to talk quietly but confidently,” says Page.

    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

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    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

    Similar to how any fashion designer incorporates his or her native country into the design process, such as using it as inspiration, Volvo is intrinsically tied to the DNA of Sweden.

    “We use our Scandinavian design language in everything we do, especially with the V60 Cross Country as it really relates well to our philosophy of designing around people’s needs and lifestyle,” says Page.

    Adding, “[We] have been influenced by modern Scandinavian product and fashion design, people’s lifestyle needs and our natural surroundings of materials and light. It is the combination of these elements, which creates modern Volvo design.”

    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

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    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

    <p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The V60 Cross Country isn’t synonymous with an LBD you might pull out of your closet for special occasions. It’s analogous to the fashionable parka you love and wear during sporty outings — like skiing, hiking and running. This segue into outdoor fashion as of late (think&nbsp;Burton’s collab with Off White and Vogue,&nbsp;Moncler’s Genius Project&nbsp;or the rise of athleisure brands like&nbsp;Outdoor Voices) is largely the inspiration for the new V60, which puts an emphasis on the “outdoors.”” data-reactid=”206″>The V60 Cross Country isn’t synonymous with an LBD you might pull out of your closet for special occasions. It’s analogous to the fashionable parka you love and wear during sporty outings — like skiing, hiking and running. This segue into outdoor fashion as of late (think Burton’s collab with Off White and VogueMoncler’s Genius Project or the rise of athleisure brands like Outdoor Voices) is largely the inspiration for the new V60, which puts an emphasis on the “outdoors.”

    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

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    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

    “For the V60 Cross Country, we included input from fashion, architecture and product design,” shares Page. “For the fashion influence we looked at how hi-tech outdoor equipment has really become high fashion. We wanted to move on the Cross Country story to really become a part of this movement — that the car is seen in the same context as an owner’s bike, skis or outdoor clothing. This really influenced the color and materials, particularly the high contrast between the Birch Light color the car was launched in.”

    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

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    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)
    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

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    Volvo V60 Cross Country (Photo: Volvo)

    Ultimately, Page says, “We wanted to create a car which supports an active lifestyle but has a modern and dynamic elegance and, of course, looks stunning. It has a Scandinavian color palette, which is very much inspired by the natural materials around us and the beautiful light of the seasons.”

    <p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.” data-reactid=”269″>This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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