October 10, 2005

Philippe Starck Maclaren: The First Online Photos

starck_maclaren.JPGFinally, 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.

Mark Yang's Kind + Jugend photos [chocho50.com via dt reader pp]
Previously: Starck Maclaren - wha wha wha?? and Starck vs Burberry


Tiny plastic wheels, doesn't recline, mesh seat? Get a 9,99 umbrella stroller from BRU, then you still have 70+ $ left for a cooler diaper bag.

[you are one tough stroller customer, Birgit! Those are the same features on the Volo, which is a great stroller for darting around in. And certainly much more comfortable to push than the drugstore strollers. -ed.]

Yeah, I am a bit underwhelmed so far. We just got our Quest Mod, and I am happy with that. Yes, it is bigger than an umbrella stroller, but it is smaller than our big-ass stroller. Nice size for strolls around the neighborhood or if we are forced to go to the mall.

I was at the Cologne conference and my god! the Europeans certainly have cooler baby stuff than we do. I was in a constant state of awe. I didn't take pictures however, most of the vendors seemed to frown upon that.

We saw one stroller that made me think of daddytypes. I can't remember the name but it had a skateboard attatched to the back so instead of a jog stroller it was more a skater stroller. It looked fun.

I didn't bother checking out the Maclaren booth because honestly? Booooring.

(ps. love your site!)

betcha it won't even come in colors other than custard yellow. starck's target baby line was only gray and yellow. (we did get an absolutely kick-ass sippy cup in 2002 that looks like a cut-crystal heavy faceted two-handled goblet (with the starckian yellow plastic lid) --it's a great cup, easy to hold, and funny. wish i'd bought more of them.

[two words: e. bay. ]

I have to agree with Birgit here...

I know that the Maclarens are supposed to be really nice strollers and all, and I really love some of them... but this one looks, in a word, cheap. The seat looks incredibly shallow, and it just looks uncomfortable.

I'm a Kolcraft/Chicco umbrella stroller lover myself... I appreciate the shock absorbing ultra-terrain wheels since we use ours mainly for walks around the block. It was 29 dollars and I can see using it for at least another year and maybe another child. And really now... for the price on the Mac, couldn't they at least throw on a sun shade?

But that's just my honest opinion...

[different strokes. we thought the kolcraft looked cheap, so we went with the Maclaren. That said, Starck's not afraid of the cheap look; he makes all kinds of plastic furniture, after all, and there was that Target baby stuff, etc. I think that next to actual cheap junk, though, the distinctions will be clear.

And I can't imagine Maclaren ever launching a high-profile collaboration with a world-famous designer, only to have everyone find out the seat is uncomfortable, shallow, and unusable. Think about it. -ed.]

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