Black Designers Aurora James And Justin Salmon Talk Playing A Part In Chevy's First-Ever Blazer Electric Vehicle

·3 min read

A first-of-its-kind vehicle has been unveiled, and two Black designers are behind its rollout.

 

Chevy's Reveal Partner And Creative Designer

On July 18, Chevy revealed an all-new electric vehicle, the 2024 Blazer EV.

To introduce the Blazer EV to the world in the right way, the company brought Aurora James, founder of Brother Vellies and the Fifteen Percent Pledge, and Justin Salmon, a creative designer for General Motors, along for the ride.

While the vehicle’s exterior instantly draws eyes, James hopes for consumers to take in the bigger picture at hand, which is the impact of driving EVs.

“I think more people transitioning to using EVs is also really critical,” James shared with AfroTech in an exclusive interview. “I think that Chevy’s done a really fantastic job addressing that need, but then also not mincing any corners. There’s phenomenal attention to detail.”

James continued: “To me, this is one of the most beautiful vehicles that they’ve ever made. The fact that it’s an EV is just icing on the cake there. I think that it’s important to make sure that people have good EV options. And I know a lot of people haven’t felt like they have in the past. So, I’m excited that the Blazer’s going to be able to open up a whole new consumer audience to be able to embrace an EV in their everyday life.”

It's All In The Details

The Blazer EV’s standout features include its interior, shape, and animated choreography. The company aims for its approach of dynamic design meets spaciousness to help gauge more interest for people to make the switch to EVs.

“The Blazer EV represented an opportunity to show the world just how approachable, attainable, and desirable an EV can be,” Salmon said. “Being the first electric Chevrolet in history to wear the SS badge [Super Sport, the signature performance option package offered on a limited number of Chevy vehicles] was also a really significant step for the brand. The design and performance of the Blazer EV more than live up to that legacy.”

Seeing his sketches come to life is always a dream come true for Salmon. In being a part of the conceptualization for cars such as the Blazer EV, he hopes for his role to serve as representation for other Black talent aspiring to join the industry.

Justin Salmon
Photo Credit: Dan MacMedan for Chevrolet

“When I first discovered automotive design, it was honestly difficult to envision myself excelling in the space. But along the way, I was fortunate to have met a few inspiring and talented Black leaders that encouraged me and helped me feel that I had something to offer in this space.” 

He added: “Seeing someone you relate to making an impact makes it easier to imagine making a difference yourself, and believing is half the battle. I hope these stories we tell inspire more young creatives to follow their passion!”