During the summer of 2013, interior designer Tristan Auer embarked on a four-year journey to transform the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris into a contemporary yet still opulent 124-room auberge. Two years later, the hotel and Auer have teamed up again, only this time the collaboration will produce a limited number of vintage British sports cars outfitted with bespoke interiors.
The vehicles are the trappings of one of the Rosewood Hotel property’s newest gift experiences that guests can purchase. Those who select this particular present, which starts at $290,000, will work with Auer to create a personalized vintage Jaguar E-Type Cabriolet.
The Hôtel de Crillon will offer this custom automotive project through 2020, with all participants also gaining entry into the 2021 Concours d’Elegance Chantilly Arts & Elegance, a prestigious, by-invitation-only collector car event held each summer just north of Paris.
Auer has been passionate about automobiles for years—they are, in his opinion, “a canvas for something very sensual and glamorous”—yet, it was only in 2017, as an extension of his design studio, that the Frenchman began to incorporate luxury vehicles into his portfolio. “I call the craft ‘car tailoring,’” he says of the work that he does creating unique interiors for a variety of four-wheelers. “In the same way that you would design a bespoke apartment, you can design the cabin of a car to express the style of its owner.”
One of Auer’s first vintage automotive projects, a 1973 Citroen DS (the Hôtel de Crillon’s house car), preserved the vehicle’s original design. However, through the use of cashmere and leather—and taking inspiration from a variety of sources, such as the Dades Gorges in Morocco and a comfortable pair of French moccasins—Auer transformed the sedan into a stately driver with a dash of flair. He also recently completed a custom interior for a mid-20th century Jaguar XK120.
Although a vehicle’s appearance is paramount to Auer, the designer emphasizes equally how a car makes the driver feel; and he’s excited to apply his trade to a canvas like the vintage E-Type, since he believes the car is “a supreme symbol of style and craftsmanship.”
Each E-Type that Auer takes on through the hotel’s package will benefit from a partnership with Loro Piana Interiors, so the designer assures that beautiful fabrics will be involved. But he also acknowledges that the cars will be influenced more by the client. “For each of my projects, I build a story around the client and create a design that will complement his or her lifestyle,” says Auer. “I try to get to know each of my clients and work to understand their personalities, hobbies, and habits, while at the same time observing their style and attitude, and design accordingly. “This experience has been created to delight even the most sophisticated of auto enthusiasts,” he continues. “I am looking forward to collaborating with individuals who share my passion for cars and design to create something extraordinary.”