CNN recently interviewed Cherica Haye, the interior designer behind Rolls-Royce Motor Cars‘ limited-edition Serenity Phantom, which features exotic Asian silk, embroidered and hand-painted cherry blossoms, and polished bamboo in its cabin. When the vehicle debuted at last year’s Geneva Motor Show, it was hailed the “world’s most beautiful Rolls-Royce” and “fit for royalty.”
During the interview, Haye revealed what inspired the one-off interior, the emotions she hopes it evokes and the hard work that went into creating it.
“With the fabric, the beauty of it, you just have to stop what you were thinking about and enjoy the moment,” she said, describing its gorgeous silk cabin. “It brings you down from 100 to a normal level. With materials you can do that.”
Although Haye is a color and material designer with Rolls-Royce Bespoke, she wasn’t always interested in cars. In fact, she initially wanted to work in the fashion industry.
“I wanted to be head of material development and design at Dior,” she said. “I don’t even know if that exists, but that’s what I wanted to do.”
Finding the world of fashion to be a lot more competitive than the automotive industry, Haye eventually shifted her focus to automotive design — conceptualizing materials for the likes of Jaguar, Kia and Audi. Here work eventually caught the eye of Rolls-Royce design director Giles Taylor, and the rest is history.
Of course, Haye isn’t the first fashionista to be plucked from the world of fashion to design car interiors. In fact, it’s become pretty common. CNN also notes that her team is comprised of professionals from a wide range of disciplines — including tattooing, sign-making, yachting, saddlery and costume design.
“There’s a constant coming together of different disciplines, but what strings us together is that we’re all design,” Haye said.
“You just have to have an eye, and that’s what connects… Not everybody’s taste is going to be the same, but you have to have that.”
In fact, Haye sees a lot of similarity between designing couture dresses and high-end car interiors, and says her skills make the transition easy.
“At heart, I’m a textiles designer that specializes in color, in material makeup, in material innovation. Not just the overall feel of it, but to the minute, micro level. I do color, I do material overlaying, material-making, designing,” she said.
To read the full interview, see “The fashion maven behind the world’s most beautiful Rolls-Royce.”