Tech magnate Elon Musk just showed off a spacesuit that isn’t bulky and actually looks quite stylish. He unveiled the spacesuit via social media on Aug. 23, noting that the suits he is creating are not just fashionable, but are totally functional for space travel.
He stressed the difficulty of the design process in the Instagram post. “Was incredibly hard to balance esthetics and function. Easy to do either separately.”
Musk worked with Hollywood costume designer Jose Fernandez to get the look he wanted. Fernandez has designed costumes for movies such as “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “Tron: Legacy,” and “Planet of the Apes,” among many others. When first contacted by Musk’s SpaceX company, Fernandez thought it was just another request from a movie studio, as Fernandez revealed in an interview with Bleep.
The spacesuit was designed from the ground up to be stylish before functionality was added. “I worked with him for six months and at the end of that, we created a suit that they are now reverse-engineering to make functional for flight,” said Fernandez in the 2016 interview.
The Instagram post already has 320,167 likes.
Fernandez currently runs Ironhead Studio, where he works on some of the biggest Hollywood films. Not only did he make costumes for three early Batman films from the 1990s, he also worked on last year’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
Fernandez talked further about his experience working with Musk. “He wanted it to look stylish. It had to be practical but also needed to look great. It’s pretty bad a**. He kept saying, ‘Anyone looks better in a tux, no matter what size or shape they are,’ and when people put this space suit on, he wants them to look better than they did without it, like a tux,” added Fernandez. “You look heroic in it. It’s an iconic thing be a part of.”
The attitude Musk is taking with the design of the suit is similar to his approach to his other projects. Whether designing solar panels for SolarCity or electric cars for Tesla, Musk doesn’t merely aim for function. “I think there is quite a radical difference between having solar panels on your roof that actually make your house look better versus ones that do not. I think it’s going to be a night and day difference,” said Musk in a conference call with Tesla investors, around the time he acquired SolarCity. “And I think the aesthetics matter a lot. As you know, at Tesla we’re super sensitive to aesthetics,” he added.