Paint it Black


Words by: JPS for duncan quinn

Not so long ago we remarked on the phenomenon of certain celebs like David Beckham doing after-market blackout jobs on their Rolls-Royces.

Now it seems the storied British marque is trying to bring that business back in-house, with a new stealth scheme for the Ghost and Wraith dubbed “Black Badge.” With it Rolls also helps to give the brand a bit of an edge, but we’re not so sure it’s sound business sense at the end of the day. We’re pretty certain the likes of Rick Ross and Travis Barker like the fact that they can do things to their Rollers that Mr. Chang from Shanghai can’t ask the factory to whip up. But we’re willing to forestall judgment until we get our gloves on one of the new models.


“Black Badge is an attitude to life, an aspect of the Rolls-Royce brand that appeals to those people who are elusive and defiant, the risk takers and disruptors who break the rules and laugh in the face of convention,” is how Rolls’ CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös describes the program. “They are driven by a restless spirit. They play hard and they change the world. Technically and aesthetically Black Badge is the alter ego of Rolls-Royce, darker, more assertive, more confident and powerful, and more demanding – the most commanding presence on the super-luxury landscape.”

Rolls cites the likes of Sir Malcolm Campbell, Howard Hughes, Keith Moon, Yves Saint Laurent and Muhammad Ali as “young gentlemen in a hurry” (cough, cough) who looked to Rolls-Royce to provide cars suitable to their live-fast lifestyles. Men who would have appreciated the Black Badge mission in their day. The emblem of Black Badge is a re-worked Spirit of Ecstasy, who “mutates into a high-gloss black vamp, proudly scything through the night-time cityscape,” according to Rolls’ breathless press release. In the words of Kanye West, “bad bitch alert”…..