Don’t look shabby. Your car is the first outfit people see you in.
When I want to feel extra crisp and stylish in any setting all it takes is a sublime mix of black and white. A starched white shirt paired with a mix of black pants, pumps and jacket and I’m ready for just about anything. Ditto the little black dress or a charcoal grey suit. Monotone dressing sets the stage for what you want the world to see. And now, so do stylish, monotone-dressed cars.
Why is this classic combination always a winner?
“Growing up” professionally in New York City editorial jobs, black was the uniform. The singular color allowed shape-defining pieces to be accented by lush textures and cuts that created their own cache. Shape, texture and design were not obscured by color or pattern. Learning to do this was a daily exercise. Pulling it off to exude a statement of elegance and excellence? That is an art.
Setting the Stage and Leading the Eye To What You Want to Be Seen
But it wasn’t just the subtext of shapes and textiles that was the goal: This streamlined color palette also provides a ‘stage’ for what you want people to see: That chic orange Hermes handbag, a blingy David Yurman topaz pendant, a perfectly shaped pouty red mouth, the red soles of Christian Louboutin pumps. It is a way to focus every eye on exactly what you want them to see.
And that’s the idea behind the new Midnight Edition models that Nissan has been rolling out this year: Streamlining the look of its most popular models in black and white so that they are more than an assemblage of each’s parts; each is its own statement, too.
Putting the Sublime in Design (So You Don’t Have To)
OK, so fashionistas have known this little secret to style for a while. It’s a pleasant surprise to find out that car designers get it, too! Nissan began rolling out the Midnight Edition line in February, giving each of its most popular models—Maxima, Altima, Sentra, Rogue, Murano and Pathfinder—a monotone look with accents in chrome and black.
The idea is that the car’s body is a singular color—black or white—and it is accented by shiny black features including the grille, name badge, wheels, side view mirrors, roof rails and window trim. Chrome accents can be found on the front grille and a few other places.
The look continues inside the cabin with black upholstery, a black dash and shiny black surfaces, again accented by chrome to frame the look.
This design sets the stage for the expressive front and rear lights and to frame the faces in the front seats. The car becomes a stage for you and your look.
Midnight Editions Serve Another Purpose, Too: They Increase the Value of Your Car
And, they reduce the cost of getting that look. It turns out that Nissan has long realized that many buyers will “customize” their cars to get this look, replacing the wheels, side view mirrors and other details.
This can be expensive and also, reduce the value of the car because it’s been modified. But if these features come from the factory—at a $1,000-$2,500 premium depending on the model—they can cost half or less than the after-market product and maintain a value established by outlets such as Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds.com.
Meet the Newest Midnight Cowboys
Just in time for midnight at mid-day—the 2017 solar eclipse—Nissan introduced the newest models in the Midnight Edition lineup: the Frontier, the Titan and TitanXD pickup trucks. The trucks introduced were clad in all black to set off the expressive headlights and chrome accents, including the Nissan emblem at the center of the grille, all while adding a little style and chicness to a confident, capable pickup truck.
And really, shouldn’t every car and truck be as stylish as it is capable?
Disclosure: I was Nissan’s guest for the new Midnight Edition truck reveal; accommodations were provided but any opinions expressed are my own.