Designers

Black Auto Designers Pay it Forward Mentoring Next-Generation Talent

Without designers, there are no cars.

Automotive designers combine knowledge of mechanics, production and materials with artistic talent to improve the style, appearance and aerodynamics of automobiles.

Much like in other professions, Black designers have fought for representation in the auto industry.

General Motors hired Edward Welburn as their first Black designer in 1972. In 2003 Welburn became the first Black Vice President of Global Design in the industry.

Black designers like Michael Burton, Crystal Windham, Earl Lucas and Chris Young have each contributed impressive feats to automotive design, from the Ford Flex to the 2021 Ford Bronco.

In 2011 when the Hyundai Sonata shook up the car market due to its modern sweeping body style, designer Andre Hudson was to thank.

According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, Black employees make up 17.2 percent of workers in automotive manufacturing but the industry lacks diversity at the leadership level.

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1930s-Era Designer’s Impact on the Industry

The car world has a history with fashion brands: Fiat partnered with Gucci for the 500C, Bugatti tapped French luxury brand Hermès, Lamborghini once had a Versace version, and Volkswagen partnered with Adidas for an athleisure look. New York Fashion Week even has an official automotive partner in BMW.



a vintage photo of a person: The car world has a history with fashion brands: Fiat partnered with Gucci for the 500C, Bugatti tapped French luxury brand Hermès, Lamborghini once had a Versace version, and Volkswagen partnered with Adidas for an athleisure look. New York Fashion Week even has an official automotive partner in BMW. Nearly 100 years ago, Helen Dryden […]


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The car world has a history with fashion brands: Fiat partnered with Gucci for the 500C, Bugatti tapped French luxury brand Hermès, Lamborghini once had a Versace version, and Volkswagen partnered with Adidas for an athleisure look. New York Fashion Week even has an official automotive partner in BMW. Nearly 100 years ago, Helen Dryden […]

Nearly 100 years ago, Helen Dryden made a big splash by applying her design experience from 14 years at Vogue magazine to pre-war Studebaker models like the 1936 Dictator, 1937 President, and 1939 Champion. She became a brand of her

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