Just caught up with former Pininfarina Creative Director, Ken Okuyama on the show floor at the Akebono Brake Industry stand. Never heard of Akebono? Very few have, despite the fact they supply brakes for a huge range of vehicles, including the McLaren Formula 1 team. And it’s this lack of untapped potential that Ken Okuyama Design is looking to unlock to take the fight to rivals such as Brembo.
While obviously most famous for his automotive work, Ken and his company have worked as consults on everything from Japanese Railways subway trains to milling machines, yet the focus remains the same – to increase awareness and ultimately sales through design strategy. And so Akebono’s new range of brake callipers by Okuyama play on their advanced engineering through beautiful machine finishes and exquisite cooling fins.
Okuyama’s K.O. 7 sports car was also on display, the first of which has just been delivered to its customer, while his eyewear and furniture lines continue to grow. As he says “there is life after being a design director”.
By Owen Ready