On July 24th, Audi hosted a Q&A panel at the legendary Third Man Records in Nashville to launch their new 2019 Audi Q3. Following a full day’s worth of activities personally curated by the auto company, where people could test drive the sports car while exploring the country music capital, Audi was proud to incorporate everything that the historical city had to offer.
Nashville is culturally and technologically progressing more now than it ever has before making it the perfect place to target the new Q3.
An Audi spokesperson detailed that Nashville was the ideal city for the car “because it’s a city that’s totally transforming. It’s bringing in a younger, diverse crowd of people who really have a creative, innovative mindset. People who are focused on pushing boundaries, not holding anything back and reshaping expectations. That’s also how we like to describe the [Audi] Q3. So, we felt it was a really great fit to be here in Nashville.”
Hosted by COOL HUNTING magazine co-founder and editor Josh Rubin, the panel included three creatives in different industries but with similar mindsets that embody the essence of the Q3.
Brandon Hill is one-half of the D.C. based design company No Kings Collective. Him and his partner Peter Chang have been creating art pieces together since 2009. Their work ranges from pop-up shops to event promotion that are all done with some paint brushes and spray paint.
The duo had an opportunity to create a custom mural for the Audi Q3. Their designs are more on the contemporary side, incorporating bold, vibrant colors and unconventional shapes and patterns.
“Most of my art ideas come outside of art or fine arts, specifically. A square and a rectangle can get boring sometimes to paint on. I like being inspired by other designs. It’s interesting to chop and dissect someone else’s design that was “perfect.” Somewhere out there, there’s a paper maker making the perfect paper and if you take that paper and make origami then, from the paper maker’s perspective, you just ruined it. But from your perspective, you just turned it in to something else. So, that’s what I get to do regularly with painting and design” said Brandon.
When considering the importance of innovation to any growing business, it is necessary to not only think about how that creativity can be fueled to help the business progress but also how it can help others. This was the ideal business model for women’s clothing store ABLE.
Formerly known as FashionABLE, it is not your typical fashion company. ABLE initially started in Ethiopia as a nonprofit organization catered to helping women in the country avoid resorting to prostitution as a means to an end. Started by Barrett and Rachel Ward, the company is now based in Nashville. They employ workers locally and globally and pay them living wages to make and supply the products sold in their store.
Jenna Milam is the Director of Merchandise planning at ABLE and believes that all companies in the fashion industry “need to become more transparent” with publishing wages. Their moral compass is essentially what drives their business.
“Only 2% of fashion workers make a living wage worldwide. That’s just not acceptable. So, it needs to be something we start questioning and being transparent about” she explained.
The women, and now men, that ABLE works with are living in impoverished conditions in underdeveloped countries. ABLE works with them personally to not only pay them what they deserve, but also to ensure they aren’t working in bad conditions or being taken advantage of.
“What keeps us strong is that we advocate for real people. Especially in the U.S. economy, I think we tend to buy or use things and feel kind of anonymous about it. I’ve watched these light bulb moments over and over again where people realize “I’m not the first person to touch this garment” or “I’m not the first person to be impacted by this garment.” What responsibility do I have to the person who shares that experience with me?
To me, I don’t want anything on my body that has cost someone else their dignity or the opportunity to feed their family. We’re not just talking about the person that has touched this shirt. We’re talking about their kids and their grandkids. We’re talking about generational poverty” Jenna said.
Fletcher is a singer, songwriter, actress and certified badass. She made her musical debut on The X Factor in 2011 and has been killing it ever since.
After the panel, she was able to grace us with a few tracks from her upcoming EP dropping August 16th during an intimate performance.
Fletcher is far from ordinary. This is proven through her art and her self expression. She finds solace in knowing that she is not “the antiquated cookie-cutter, female pop star persona”. Actually, her individuality is the premise behind everything she does.
“As a queer woman in music, the odds are already stacked against me. So, I beat to my own drum, I wear my heart on my sleeve and I think vulnerability is a superpower. Even though I’m signed to a major label, my reason for doing that is so I can begin to change the game for the way that young people out there look to their favorite artist and say they can see themselves in that person. You don’t have to be perfect”
The primary theme of the launch of the Audi Q3 is to “hold nothing back.” When asked about how she does just that while staying strong, she emphasized that being a relatable figure to people who may not have anyone to relate to, similar to herself while growing up, is what keeps her going.
“I think it’s easy to not hold anything back when I’m in a studio where I’m spilling out my deepest thoughts. I think it then becomes a bit more difficult to share those thoughts with the world. But what helps me stay strong is thinking about the fact that my lyrics and words can resonate and connect with a young person who might have needed to hear it. By helping other people live their truth, it in turn helps me live my own. It’s like a cycle.”