“American muscle cars were the ‘super cars’ of their Times. they die hard, and they’ve always been wild easy to customize and repair, as opposed to sending a Ferrari off for a zillion dollar oil change. The return of the older body styles is the greatest wave in car culture today.”
—Curren$y, Rapper, American car enthusiast
THE NEW FORD MUSTANG
Detroit goes retro and gets a new life.
In 2008, the recession hit the auto industry hard, killing Hummer, Mercury, Pontiac, Saab, and Saturn, and nearly doing in many others. The big three—Ford, GM, and Chrysler—survived, but in degenerated form. GM owned more brands than it knew what to do with. Chrysler was a punch line. And Ford was producing watered-down versions of its European competitors.
Whatever doesn’t force you to liquidate your assets only makes you stronger. In August 2010, the 2011 Mustang hit dealerships with state-of-the-art engines that brought new levels of performance to the iconic pony. The V6 was the first 30/300 car: 30 mpg and 300 horses. More impressively, the GT could keep up with a BMW M3 on a track. This new Mustang spawned brilliant variants, like the refined Boss 302 and the first aluminum block GT500, which made the supercharged monster way easier to handle.
By reintroducing an old favorite, Ford proved it was back, and so was Detroit. The Mustang’s retro styling lead to the resurrection of other classics, like the Chevy Camaro and the Dodge Challenger. Another Dodge, the Dart—along with the Ford Fusion and the Chevy Spark—were cost-conscious responses to the recession. But the Mustang represented the new way of thinking that saved the U.S. auto industry (along with a heaping helping of Obama-approved bailout money): bigger, bolder, and with an eye toward an iconic past. —Stirling Matheson
Sneakers take a step back for a classic silhouette.
Boat shoes have always been a preppy staple, but in 2008 they returned in a big way. Seen on indie rockers like Vampire Weekend and hip-hop mainstays like Pharrell Williams, the nautical-inspired kicks were a key element in the resurgence of collegiate-inspired style. The comfortable, versatile footwear could be worn with shorts, slim jeans, and colorful chinos. Throw in collaborations like Band of Outsiders x Sperry Top-Sider and Ronnie Fieg x Sebago, and their cross-cultural appeal is even more evident.
THE APPLE IPAD
Steve Jobs wins again.
Not just an over-sized iPhone, the iPad was another game-changer. Apple transformed an ailing market segment and signalled that Steve Jobs and Co. would be heavy-hitters in the post-PC era. The 9.7-inch tablet also established Apple’s reputation as a company that had its finger firmly on the pulse of the culture. When other tech companies were pushing underpowered netbooks, Apple released a gorgeous touch-screen slab that gave people a new way to consume and interact with their content. —Damien Scott