Porsche Design presser: an audience with Patrick Dempsey

Nicky Collinson
Editor, Dispensing Optics

Dispensing Optics editor, Nicky Collinson, was among a select audience of international editors invited to join eyewear ambassador, Patrick Dempsey, and Porsche Design CEO, Jan Becker, for a digital press conference on 26 April.

Actor and motor racing driver Patrick Dempsey wears Porsche Design Eyewear

It’s not every day you’re granted an audience with a Hollywood star, so I was grateful to Rodenstock for inviting Dispensing Optics along to hear more about the new collaboration between Porsche Design Eyewear and Patrick Dempsey, which we first reported in our March issue.

It was also an opportunity to have a browse around a digital Porsche Design World, with press releases, images and videos – as well as access a QR code for a virtual try-on of Porsche Design eyewear.

Best known for his role as Dr Derek ‘McDreamy’ Shepherd in the medical TV drama series Grey’s Anatomy, which netted him two Golden Globes, Patrick Dempsey is also an accomplished race car driver. He has successfully completed several 24 Hours of Le Mans races in addition to co-founding his own racing team, Dempsey-Proton Racing. It was Dempsey’s “likeable and authentic personality”, which Becker says made him the ideal brand ambassador for Porsche Design Eyewear.

Following a presentation by Becker on the brand and how the collaboration with Dempsey came about, it was interesting to hear how the actor first got into motor racing – and Porsche cars in particular. He was in his 20s when he scraped together enough to buy his first Porsche convertible – a prized classic which he still has. His father’s influence was also a factor, as he was a huge fan of motor racing.

Editors were also invited to submit questions ahead of the event; those directed at Dempsey covered topics such as his passion for motor racing and his affiliation with Porsche Design, to his personal style picks from the 2021 Porsche Design Eyewear collection – which he happened to have on hand to model.

Importantly when it comes to eyewear, not only do the actor and brand have the same initials – PD – they also share the same passion for precision and perfection. It was pleasing to hear Dempsey reiterate the need for a “professional fitting” when selecting eyewear, and his appreciation for the core principles of form and function in eyewear design.

Dempsey also stressed the importance of teamwork and having a shared vision to achieve common goals, something which was pertinent to both his collaboration with Porsche Design and in the motor racing world. Lightness, durability and “beautiful, well-crafted design” were the keywords.

New Collector’s Edition

The P’8928 P Collector’s Edition

Launching today (1 May 2021) and inspired by Patrick Dempsey, is the Porsche Design Collector’s Edition – a new take on the classic P’8478 design.

The P’8478 was introduced in 1978 by Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche and was the world’s first pair of sunglasses with an interchangeable lens mechanism. It became a true style icon, with millions of pairs sold – and is still available today, 43 years later, almost entirely unchanged. A modern take on this classic design, the P’8928 is a masculine squared aviator style.

A limited P’8928 P Collector’s Edition celebrates the partnership between the brand and the actor. The colour combination of dark grey and black is described as “a tribute to Patrick Dempsey’s elegant and puristic style”, while the sunglasses’ colour code is titled ‘P’ after Patrick.

Interchangeable lens options

The frame is available with four additional pairs of coloured, interchangeable lenses in a premium soft box. The shades are equipped with Porsche Design’s Vision Drive lens technology, rendering the lenses scratch and impact-resistant whilst providing UV400 protection. They are made of 100 per cent titanium to ensure a lightweight and premium wearer comfort.

Throughout the year, Dempsey will be featured wearing four timeless and innovative Porsche Design eyewear styles. The campaign will be brought to life with creative, eye-catching digital content, multiple window campaigns featuring exclusive marketing material, attractive point-of-sale material and extensive PR and social media activities.

Could be just what the doctor ordered…