Dubai is a surreal place. The speed with which the city has been built, and the reputation it has created for itself, is pretty much unprecedented.
It attracts money, and caters to it as well — you want luxury resorts, every shop imaginable, and never-ending entertainment? You’ve got it. Access to this world of more-more-more is understandably exclusive, but travelling to Dubai with Cadillac meant an all-access pass to experience the city. Flying Emirates Business Class (that bar!), staying at the Madinat Jumeirah Resort, cruising around the Palm Islands on a 90-foot yacht, and a show-stopping final meal of what felt like a million delicious courses of traditional Arabic dishes at Em Sharif were all par for the course. But the main event was the one-two punch of Public School’s Pre-Fall 2016 runway presentation closely followed by the reveal of Cadillac’s XT5, the American automaker’s new mid-size luxury crossover.
Cadillac is playing the long game with their revitalization, aiming to attract millennials by slowly tweaking their design language to create their new lineup of vehicles, spearheaded by the XT5 (replacing the aging SRX), and building up connections to the design world, particularly through sponsorship of New York’s new Men’s Fashion Week, and Public School themselves.
“If you think about the luxury consumer,” Andrew Smith, Cadillac’s Executive Director of Design, explains, “they’re fairly sophisticated and aren’t really interested in being engaged in a traditional way. It’s about resonating with their lifestyle, their choices and their personal aspirations. So you’ll see Cadillac moving into lots of different relationships that are all about basically engaging the customer in an unexpected way, and Public School in particular is just one.”