A. Kahn Design, Britain’s original automotive fashion house, has collaborated with Lauge Jensen, the luxury Danish bespoke motorcycle brand to create 10 stunning limited edition bikes.
Luxurious Magazine caught up with both CEOs, Afzal Kahn and Frank Troelsen, at the official invitation-only launch at A. Kahn’s Chelsea showroom in London.
LM: Afzal, you are the first retailer of Lauge Jensen motorcycles in the UK. Tell us more.
AK: This is a joint venture and we have never been in the motorcycle industry before. Being a designer, this was something that was not complicated for me and I just had to understand how bikes worked. When I sat down with Frank, we realised that there was a lot of synergy between the two brands and after many thoughts and ideas, we decided to build a bike together. I also recognised that the UK is a bit different – customers are looking more for a cruiser bike and something that is ‘not in your face’.
These days, if you want to be successful, you have to look at collaborations, work with partners, do things together and learn from each other’s different experiences. Off the back of that, we have created a masterpiece in a very short space of time. If we had been given 12 months, maybe that bike could have been flying! This will be the first of many limited editions and we have sold four already.
LM: You are known for modifying Range Rovers and Ferraris. Do you think it will take a long time for people to recognise that you are now customising bikes and diversifying away from cars?
AK: We diversified a while ago. I am not a designer focused only one area – the next step could be fashion or something else. I think people will recognise that you have to start somewhere and my generation started from customisation and the business grew organically. We are now building tailor made vehicles and now bikes, so hopefully you will see some more of this going forward.
LM: If I wanted to design my own bike, are the possibilities endless?
FT: For a Lauge Jensen motorcycle, you don’t start with the bike, but the customer. It is basically what the buyer wants to express. However, I am considering adding another ‘c’ to our core design values as well as instant craftsmanship, courage and curiosity: ‘craziness’! What I discovered with Afzal and his team is that he goes beyond just designing objects. He goes crazy and dares to challenge the status quo in a way where we can follow because we are the world’s only custom motorcycle manufacturer.
LM: Who is the target market for the new bike?
AK: The fact with our core business is that we do not have a set audience or someone from a set age bracket. Our target market wants something a bit different – not the Harley Davidson that the neighbour has got.
LM: One of the great things about Lauge Jensen bikes is that they are easy to ride. Tell us more.
FT: That’s where I believe that beauty comes into play. These are not just objects that you look at or pieces of art. They are something that can be used every day. These are really solid pieces of machinery, and the key thing about them is that they are really challenging the way that you think about motorcycles.
LM: What’s next for Lauge Jensen?
FT: We will be opening a new showroom in Monaco.
LM: And for Kahn Design?
AK: We are opening a new site in Leeds.
LM: Thank you for your time Afzal and Frank, and congratulations on the collaboration.
Custom Lauge Jensen bikes are priced from £40,000 ex.VAT/ex.works.
You can find more information by visiting kahndesign.com and laugejensen.dk
Interview by Simon Wittenberg MIOJ