On April 20, in honor of the anniversary of the debut of Jaguar E-Type at the 1961 New York Auto Show, Jaguar re-explored fifty years of groundbreaking design achievement with a memorable celebration at the Frank Gehry-designed IAC building in New York City.
The evening was hosted by Jaguar’s award-winning Design Director, Ian Callum who welcomed guests from all around the world. Following remarks by Mr. Callum, who lauded the iconic design of the 1961 E-Type displayed onstage, guests witnessed the global debut of the 12MY Jaguar XKR Coupe, with a dramatic reveal that displayed the car with a surprise appearance by actress Megan Fox, who along with Jaguar’s “smolderingly sexy” new car, added glamour to the occasion. The Jaguar XKR Coupe is a sleek and muscular GT sports car powered by a 510-hp supercharged V8 engine. For Model Year 12, the Jaguar XKR received new interior and exterior styling cues emphasizing its high performance intentions.
To animate a closer look at Jaguar design iconography from the ‘60s era, passionate E-Type enthusiast Simon Doonan, the British-born Creative Ambassador for Barney’s New York, designed the evening’s celebration. Arriving guests posed on the red carpet with a one-of-a-kind life-size, to-scale replica of the E-Type emblazoned with a decoupage of original fashion and lifestyle photography from the period. During the first hour of the evening guests were whisked back to 1961, to a swinging party capturing the spirit of the time. Original Bombay Sapphire cocktails were served while models dressed in early ‘60s fashions elegantly lounged within a custom-made tableau-vivant decorated with period E-type iconography.
“As a design statement and as an automobile, the E-Type is a landmark and for me it’s pure Jaguar and an inspiration for the work we do today,” said Callum. “It is a thrill to celebrate the 50th birthday of the iconic E-Type here in New York where it made its debut 50 years ago.”
To follow the initial 1960s interlude, by way of a second curtain reveal, guests were welcomed back to 2011 where they were able to interact with a spectacular display of Jaguar’s newest models. The high-profile anniversary party was attended by international Jaguar guests attending the New York International Auto Show, American Jaguar car owners, design-industry influencers, bold-faced named Manhattan socials including Chris Mack, Natasha Silver, Jennifer Creel, Julie Macklowe, Lesley Schulhof, Amalia Keramitsis, Lindsey Wheat, Lindsay Fox, Gilles Mendel, Jack Yeaton. Megan Fox was accompanied by her husband actor Brian Austin Green.
“1961 was the year that design was really gathering momentum in America, in England, in Europe, and the nape was ultra…the moment is…the E-Type,” said Doonan. “The E-Type brought together the worlds of pure design, style and fashion. And Jaguar is at it again today with XJ and the XK. This celebration is about the through lines, that same confluence of architecture, style and fashion.”
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