Predictions Week 2013: Maximillion Cooper

The Gumball 3000 Founder and Lifestyle Savant Reveals His Automotive Projections

Entrepreneur, creative director, explorer, design addict and “lover of British culture” Maximillion Cooper predicts that we will be seeing more white tires tricking out next year’s hottest cars in his 2013 forecast. Automobiles were just a starting point for Cooper when, having pursued a career as a racing driver while studying fashion at Central Saint Martins, he founded the Gumball 3000 rally in 1999. An annual 3000-mile international road race, the name was taken from the eponymous 1976 movie and inspired by films including Vanishing Point, Bullitt and Le Mans as well as the Cannonball Run, a coast-to-coast event held five times during the 70s. Taking place on public roads in dozens of countries worldwide, the rally celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. It involves a mix of powerful and eccentric, vintage and contemporary super cars and is beloved by the jet set, drawing celebrity participants like Idris Elba, Kate Moss, Johnny Knoxville and Tony Hawk—as well as Cooper’s current girlfriend, the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist Eve, with whom he plans to ring in the new year at Goldeneye Villa in Jamaica. His theme song for the post-Mayan year ahead? “Nancy Sinatra’s ‘You Only Live Twice.’” NOWNESS asked the Renaissance man and auto connoisseur what cars we can expect to own the road in 2013.

Most innovative new car design
The Audi Shark by Kazim Doku or Daniel Simon’s Cosmic Motors ‘Sexy Magrela’ Top Thrust competition ship. 

Sexiest new car design
I’m biased, but the new ‘Gumball 3000’ edition Morgan Aero Coupe that I’m designing with Matt Humphries is definitely going to be the sexiest car ever! It will be released in spring 2013.

Upcoming automotive trend
I predict that whitewall tires are about to make a comeback and colored tires will become mainstream. White tires were the norm 100 years ago until carbon black was added to the tread to enhance road traction in the 1920s. 

Craziest accessory destined for popularity
Bridgestone’s new, non-pneumatic, airless tires that are completely resistant to punctures.

Best perennial driving music
I like to drive to a combination of The Clash, Beastie Boys, Bentley Rhythm Ace, The White Stripes and Johnny Cash.

Most interesting road trip itinerary
Gumball’s, of course: a road trip along with your best mate and another 100 amazing cars, all driving from Denmark to Monaco via 13 countries in just six days, incorporating parties and music concerts in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Riga, Warsaw and Vienna, before reaching the finish line in Monte Carlo just in time to soak up the late-May Monaco F1 weekend in style.

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    Keirin: Speed Racers

    Inside the High-Octane and Lucrative World of Japan’s Cycling Spectacle

    Before fixed-gear bikes became de rigueur for urban aesthetes, they were the weapon of choice for Japan’s fearless Keirin cyclists. A gladiatorial incarnation of track cycling that dates back to 1948, the Japanese sporting phenomenon operates by an intricate set of rules that sees competitors jostling for position on steeply banked tracks at lightning fast speeds, all but encouraging spectacular crashes. In today's film for NOWNESS, Jonathan de Villiers (whose fashion photography and portraiture has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Wallpaper* and Fantastic Man) traveled to the national Keirin school in Tokyo and the Tachikawa and Yokkaichi velodromes to decode the strategy that governs the racing phenomenon. “I knew next to nothing about it when I went,” says de Villiers, “but I'm a big admirer of the anthropological documentary where you get taken into a whole different world. And what a strange, special and complex universe it turned out to be.” The state-run industry amasses tens of billions of dollars in gambling revenue each year. To read about the Tokyo-based bicycle design company that has won the affections of cyclists around the world click here.

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    Feist: Anti-Pioneer

    Director Martin de Thurah's Intimate Portrait of the Indie Sensation’s Haunting Lament

    Canadian chanteuse Leslie Feist swirls and twirls through a monochrome kaleidoscope while intoning her sultry ballad “Anti-Pioneer” in a new video by Danish director Martin de Thurah. A four-time Grammy Award nominee and 11-time Juno Award-winner, Feist honed her musical chops with electro-pop iconoclast Peaches and the Toronto alt-rock band Broken Social Scene. Her Gonzales-produced debut album Let it Die catapulted her into the mainstream limelight, and in 2006 her track “1234” from sophomore effort The Reminder went to number eight in the US after being featured on an advert for the iPod Nano. De Thurah’s video was shot with a tiny crew in an old building in Mexico City while the pair had a two-hour break in the middle of filming the promo for Feist’s “The Bad in Each Other,” lifted from recent LP Metals. “We had a window of opportunity to shoot something else, which never happens,” explains De Thurah. “I had thought about making something very simple, complex and emotional with Leslie alone. I found the song very intimate, and wanted the video to reflect that.” Currently touring Europe until September, here Feist opens up to NOWNESS about working with De Thurah, her Canadian music buddies and her fixation on puppets.

    Why did you want to work with Martin? 
    Martin leaps out as this person with a really strange, beautiful language of moving poetry that isn’t spoon-feeding anything, but allows for a darkness and a buoyancy at the same time. Everything he had done I have a huge appreciation for, so I sought him out to recreate the language of those short films.

    Are music videos important to your message? 
    It’s an addendum to making songs. I have an aesthetic taste of things that are going to reflect into the music, but it’s not something that I can do. There are people who have worked really hard in developing their eye and it is fun to join forces and see what you can find in the middle. 

    Are you still connected to the Canadian crew of Mocky [musician and producer], Peaches and Chilly Gonzales? 
    Feist: Ha! Very much so. Mocky, Gonzo and I are in constant contact, and Peaches travels as much as I do so we find each other when we’re in the same city. They’re definitely my original musical family for sure, and Mocky, Gonzo and I still work together all the time. They co-produced my last record with me so that’s a natural old friendship that’s just adapted over ten years. When we work together the inside jokes are flying at all times, but there’s a core sensitivity. Sometimes you can disarm the seriousness of a situation and truly look it straight in the eye if you’re jack-assing around at the same time.

    There seem to be a lot of puppets in your work over the years, including last year’s The Muppets movie in which you had a small cameo. 
    Feist: Ha, yeah! For a couple of years on tour I had a woman, Clea Minaker, with me on stage doing live shadow puppet shows. I don’t know where it came from, but a natural answer is watching Sesame Street and The Muppet Show as a kid implanted that good-naturedness. Though also making the inanimate, animate. Even taking a salt and pepper shaker and marching them around or whatever is something of a mainline to good-natured happiness.

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