A month ago, Ian Callum stepped down from his position as Jaguar's director of design. In a 20-year career with the English sports car maker, Callum's pen has traced the lines of everything from the original XK, the XJ, the F-Type, I-Pace, and more. Before that, he made use of employ at Aston Martin by contributing to the original DB7, the DB9, the previous Vantage, and the first Vanquish. After a career in service to OEMs that's been brilliant enough to earn him a CBE, for Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Callum has stepped up to take the reins at his eponymous design firm, called "Callum."
Established with four fellow ex-Jaguar executives, Callum will design and engineer bespoke and limited-edition creations in the worlds of art, audio, automotive, fashion, lifestyle, and motorsports. The other trio of founding members are program director David Fairborn, engineering director Adam Donfrancesco, and commercial director Tom Bird. Fairbarn was the head of bespoke and special commissions at Jaguar Land Rover, where he helped bring the Lightweight E-Type to life. Donfrancesco left his role as engineering manager for JLR 's bespoke and special commissions; before that, he developed road and race cars like the Aston Martin GT8 and GT12. Bird, after stints at PWC and Barclays, had been commercial manager at JLR, where he shepherded the C-X75 concept into the James Bond movie Spectre.
Callum said of the venture, "I wanted to get back to the essence of creativity; the challenge of producing something wonderful and personal. To design the alternative has always been my mantra, but always the beautiful alternative and something to enjoy." The man's still contracted to Jaguar as a brand ambassador, but at 64 years old, he feels "I've got maybe 15 years of design aptitude left, and I want to make the most of it." With 18 employees and based in a 20,000-square-foot facility in Warwick, the firm is ready right now with the engineering and manufacturing machinery to create products in-house.
Even with the company's wide remit, we expect to see Callum take a stand in the automotive space. He admitted that he'd "like to take some of the cars I've designed and maybe redo them a little bit," but the team will always consider the entire vehicle, looking to upgrade dynamics and handling, too. We're told the first project will be announced soon. Meanwhile, we'll see more of Callum's work coming out of Jaguar shortly on the next-generation XJ and a couple of facelifted cars due next year.