Rebel SLS Porsche Edition

Interview with designer Florian Panther


We speak with Duotone Creative Director Florian Panther on the release of the first collaborative product between Porsche and Duotone, the LIMITED EDITION PORSCHE 911 DUOTONE REBEL SLS.

The kite is inspired by Porsche Motorsport and incorporates design elements that can be found on their race cars, such as the arrows that point on tow hooks and fasteners, ventilation slots and the centred V-shaped design found on the Porsche crest alongside the iconic 911 race number.

Hi Florian, tell us about your role as an Creative Director at Duotone, where do you draw your inspiration and motivation?
In general, I am a passionate product designer. Being part of a product cycle from the beginning to the end is always fascinating for me. It’s cool to see something coming to life from the first sketch, first prototype, and first design sample to seeing the final product in the shop or better, on the water.  

When you see the stoke in the face of a person using the products that you designed or worked on, that feels very rewarding. 

I draw inspiration from almost anything, from fashion, product design, graphic design, daily life and definitely nature. I think we find the best colours and colour combinations within nature.

Which Porsche elements inspired you for the 911 Rebel SLS Kite design?

I've been a car enthusiast since I was a little kid. I remember driving the little 1:50 or 1:64 scale model 911s through the sandbox in my parents’ garden when I was 4 or 5. I had the Rothmans Paris Dakar 953 and a 911RS 2.7 in bright orange. The brand always had and still has a dream car image for me. I always felt the combination of sheer power and agility to turn this power into the fastest lap is what Porsche does better than any other brand.

I guess that's where we found the inspiration for this collaboration project in the heritage of Porsche motorsport. There is an instant difference between a streetcar and a race car that fascinates me and what Porsche stands for. The main design elements on the Limited Edition were directly inspired by race cars, from the little arrows that point on tow hooks and quick fasteners, to the ventilation slots on top of the wheel housing.

Probably the most iconic detail of a race car is the race number - therefore it was clear that we wanted to transfer this element onto the visual kite design. To me, there is no number that has a stronger connection to motorsports than the 911 and no number that has a stronger connection to Porsche. Using 911 as the race number for the kite draws the connection between Porsche and Duotone in a very pure way.

The kite has a minimalistic, dynamic-reduced design language that I see in many of the Porsche race cars. They are designed with a focus on efficiency and performance without details that have no functionality. This is a real form-follows-function principle but Porsche manages to make it look pretty damn good! A few of the GT and Cup cars feature the V-shaped design that reminiscences of the shape on the Porsche crest. We implemented the crest shape into the design of the kite to include this important optical feature.

Tell us about your design approach and the details of the design.
Each design process begins with research and inspiration. We do brainstorming sessions to bring anything up that could potentially be a good idea for the process. In the next step, we break down everything into essential details and see what matches the predefined vision and the goal of the project. As an example, we defined the colour scheme of the kite at the beginning of the project. It was supposed to transfer performance and functionality without being non-emotional. So we tried to find that combination in the colour studies and research.

Have you already received some feedback from the market or some of the athletes?
Our team got the chance to see and use the kite in a recent action shoot in Alaska, the feedback couldn’t be any better. It’s the first product out of a unique collaboration between Porsche and Duotone, it's a one-of-its-kind product and it's limited to 222 pieces and each piece includes a unique serial number. I personally believe this is an excellent addition to the existing Duotone Kite Range and it is a unique product within the Kitesurfing industry. The Team in Alaska were super stoked about this kite, especially Liam Whaley and Rita Arnaus, this is a dream project as it combines the design language of both their sponsors, Porsche and Duotone.

What are the shared objectives between Porsche and Duotone? How do you make dreams come true with this partnership?
Duotone and Porsche are connected by the brand values they have in common. A pioneering spirit, innovative strength and the combination of design and function. Additionally, both share the vision to develop the sport of kitesurfing together and strengthen the structures.

With Porsche's innovative power and technological leadership in R&D and Duotone's know-how and leading position in the Kitesurfing market, we hope for an inspiring exchange that will enable us to break new ground in creating even more innovative solutions for Kitesurfing. What's outstanding about this project is both brands' promotion of young talents: a part of the sales is going into our Young Blood program, supporting young kite surfers and their dream to become professional athletes and I am very proud to be part of it!


"I believe there are actually three keywords which perfectly fit Porsche and also the sport kitesurfing: athleticism, precision and pushing boundaries."

From your point of view, how does Porsche's involvement fit with kitesurfing in general?
I believe there are actually three keywords which perfectly fit Porsche and also the sport kitesurfing: athleticism, precision and pushing boundaries. Both brands generate a bright smile combined with the sheer look of adrenaline on the faces of our customers when using our products in the proper way… :-)

Please tell us how the idea of a Porsche model came up.
When we started working together last year, with quickly realized we shared similar brand values and visions about the sport, we wanted our brand collaboration to create something unique, following the aim to give our kite-surf community something back. So we decided to create a limited Porsche kite edition, which simply hasn’t happened ever before.