Have you ever fantasized about exploring a city by air, land and sea? Well, we’ve done it… and it was awesome.
Photo Credit: Ahmad Khamsi
Thanks to Lexus, who hosted an experiential lifestyle event in Miami earlier this month with its ambitious “Through The Lens” event, we were able to explore ‘The Magic City’ in a plethora of different, inventive ways in the span of one, action-packed day.
The day began early. After departing the super-luxe Faena Hotel and arriving at Casa Clara mansion, which, at $35.9 million, is one of the five priciest homes in Miami, guests were offered breakfast prepared by James Beard Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein, which was briefly put on pause as Akio Toyoda, grandson of Toyota founder Kiichiro Toyoda, as well as the brand’s current CEO and President, make a stellar entrance (and rare American appearance) riding in on and for the world debut of the Lexus Sport Yacht concept. Powered by the same 5.0 liter V8 engines as the Lexus RC F performance coupe, GS F performance sedan and LC 500 premium coupe, the Lexus Sport Yacht concept can reach 43 knots (49 mph) on the water. The prototype, which has been in the works for two years, is a partnership between Marquis Yachts, LLC, makers of Marquis and Carver Yachts, and the Toyota Motor Corporation to create this stunning, sleek, 42-foot open sport yacht that applies the Lexus design language to a maritime concept.
Armed with trust Leica cameras, guests then headed to the iconic 1111 Lincoln Road building to shoot the just-announced, yet-to-be-released LS 500 flagship sedan with Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline as a backdrop, learning to shoot with British photographer Gavin Bond, who had just come from shooting Ed Sheeran; other famous faces he’s snapped include Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Alba and George Clooney.
Then it was back to Casa Clara to shoot the new LC 500h hybrid with photographer Greg Williams, a famous portrait photographer who has worked with many of the world’s most popular actors, including Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta Jones, Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, George Clooney, Robert DeNiro, Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz, Sean Penn, Robert Downey Jr., Keira Knightly and Daniel Craig.
Later in the day, guests were flown by helicopter to the Palm Beach International Raceway, where they both shot and drove Lexus performance models and were coached in advanced automotive photographic techniques by a renowned F1 shooter. Vehicles at the raceway portion of the “Through The Lens” program included the athletic RC F coupe and GS F performance sedan and the stylish LC 500 coupe (on sale this spring) as well as an amazing hot-lap of the track in the RC F GT Concept racecar with sportscar champion Scott Pruett at the wheel.
The day closed with a chick cocktail party at the new Faena Forum gallery with one very big, very dramatic new reveal—the all-new Lexus Skyjet concept from Luc Besson‘s upcoming science fiction film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.
A project of Lexus’ collaboration with Europacorp, the film is based on the French science fiction comic series “Valérian and Laureline” by Pierre Christin and illustrated by Jean-Claude Mézières. Written, directed and produced for the screen by Besson, it features Dane DeHaan—whom was actually on site at the Faena Forum for the unveiling—as well as Cara Delevingne as space- and time-traveling agents Valerian and Laureline, who rely on their Lexus Skyjet for transportation.
The Valerian team worked with the Lexus Design Center in Japan to create the Skyjet, a vehicle grounded in reality but befitting of the Valerian world set 700 years in the future. It incorporates an adaptation of Lexus’ signature “spindle grille,” headlamps evocative of Lexus’ forthcoming LC coupe, and an athletic and aerodynamic shape.
Each venue offered cuisine prepared by Lexus Chefs, displays of Lexus Short Films produced in cooperation with The Weinstein Company and emerging directors, art and fashion from the annual Lexus Design Award (including the Shape Shifter dress, above) at Milan Design Week, and other expressions of the Lexus brand such as the YouTube-hit Lexus Hoverboard from 2015.