X-wing and TIE fighter cradles for pens that look like they were designed by Coruscant’s most famous architect. Wallets and bags with subtly-placed insignias that reveal where one’s loyalties true lie. Introducing S.T. Dupont’s elegant Star Wars line, which launched this week on DisneyStore.com and brings Star Wars aesthetics to everyday items in a beautiful way. StarWars.com was so knocked out by the offerings — really, even the Emperor and Yoda could agree on the greatness of those pens — that we caught up over e-mail with France-based designer Stéphane Martin to find out how they did it.
StarWars.com: The concept sketches you provided us offer a glimpse into how you developed the pens and their cradles, and how they’d work together. At that point in the process, what were you trying to figure out and how did you decide what worked and what didn’t?
Stéphane Martin: For designers, sketches are the extension of thought — we always think with our hands and, quite naturally, we keep or vent some ideas.
My first desire when I began to draw this collection was to pay tribute to the amazing spaceships used by George Lucas in the [original] trilogy. Then, design a product which fans can easily identify and recreate the Star Wars spirit. This collection is, for me, the perfect match between design, simplicity, and ergonomics.
StarWars.com: I love the little touches, like the rebel and Imperial insignias on the pen caps. Are there any design details you think fans might not notice or pick up on, but you think they might appreciate?
Stéphane Martin: As a real Star Wars fan, I decided to put the emphasis on details and settings for this collection. The TIE fighter is based on the original design, and I really wanted to come as close as possible to [it]. For that, we have worked closely with [Lucasfilm].
Furthermore, the X-wing pen has something really distinctive — it can have two lives, which is quite interesting for a luxury product. The pen could be used both during a business meeting, where the person who holds it is really proud to belong to the Star Wars community and, simultaneously, consider the writing instrument as an exceptional piece by putting it down on its base at the end of a working day.
StarWars.com: The leather goods collection is a bit more minimalist but definitely captures the feel of the Empire. What was the design goal here?
Stéphane Martin: The main goal of the leather goods collection is to keep/maintain the duality between the rebel side versus the dark side of the Force. The leather goods collection is for daily use, so we tried to work on products which are not that decorative but [still feature] details. For instance, the ultimate finishing touch for the briefcases is a distinctive pendant: a miniature X-wing fighter, symbol of the Rebel Alliance, for one, and a miniature TIE fighter, symbol of the Empire, for the other.
StarWars.com: When it comes to Star Wars products, I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like these before. What are you most proud of with this collection?
Stéphane Martin: Obviously, I must say that the success of the collection makes me proud of it. If I had to keep only one product of this collection, I would choose the X-wing pen — which is, by the way, already on my desk.
Dan Brooks is Lucasfilm’s senior content writer and editor of the StarWars.com blog. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks where he rants about all these things.