Finally, the first online photos of Philippe Starck's stroller and changing bag for Maclaren have surfaced. The snap judgment: not a jaw-dropping surprise, but worth a closer look.
The Starck Maclaren won the Innovation Award in last month's giant Kind + Jugend expo in Cologne, but it's taken several weeks for someone--Taiwanese dad Mark Yang, as it turns out--to post snapshots of the rig online.
From the simple lines, the Starck Mac looks to be based on the Volo; it has a one-layer mesh seat, and it doesn't recline. The undercarriage and rear structure are also unmistakably Maclaren.
Starck's big gesture is to add a curve, something you almost never see on a Maclaren. The top/front line extends pretty smoothly from the handle, through the seat, and down to the front wheels. The seat fabric's simplified, looking almost flush, with a shallow, tailored indentation for the kid's butt. Underneath, Starck replaced the storage net with a shelf, where his briefcase-like diaper bag sits. There's a hinge mid-way on the front that reminds me of the Quinny Zapp, but I think it's there to help flatten out the curve; I'm betting the Starck doesn't fold in half like the Zapp, but closes to normal Volo-size.
Little details kind of bug, like the thickened rear frame, the angled, cut down shelf, the shallow seat, the mid-air straps, those little brackets near the top of the seat. And the bag? I'm not feeling a lot of love. I'm sure the whole thing'll come in colors other than lemon custard, too. But still, it's definitely worth a look. It'll be interesting to see what the "Starck Tax" [i.e., the premium over the $79-99 Volo] will be.