Car manufacturers nowadays appear to be constantly rubbing shoulders with the fashion elite. Out of a multitude of recent designer car collaborations, we select some of the most exciting combinations.
Quintessentially British car brand Mini is renowned for supporting good causes. Since 2001 the brand has collaborated each year with a guest fashion designer for the Life Ball, the biggest AIDS and HIV charity event in Europe. Past contributions include Missoni, Mario Testino, Diesel, Agent Provocateur and The Blonds who conceived a pink leopard-skin patterned Mini inspired by none other than Katy Perry.
For the 2010 event in Vienna, Mini announced not just one but three striking collaborations from the iconic designers, Kenneth Cole, Diane von Furstenberg and Calvin Klein. Each car is auctioned off at the event with all proceeds being donated to charity.
Francisco Costa, award-winning Women’s Creative Director of Calvin Klein was fortunate to get her hands on the new Countryman model, creating a dark and stealthy looking finish.
Diane von Furstenberg stamped her recognisable lip print all over the Mini Hatchback, with kisses scattered across the roof and windows.
Kenneth Cole had 80,000 studs adorned painstakingly by hand onto the exterior of the Mini Convertible
Another fabulous candy striped design resulted from Mini’s union with Paul Weller of 60s band The Jam.
Chanel Concept Car
One of our personal favourites is this sleek concept car by Korean car designer, Jinyoung Jo, inspired by haute couture fashion brand Chanel. The elegantly named Chanel Fiole, features rounded, impossibly streamlined contouring mimicking the drapes of fabric. The rear wheels are shrouded by chic rear panels.
To bring it to life watch a 3D animation of the project, stunning:
Barbie and Diesel Fiat 500s
Aren’t you too old for Barbie when you’re old enough to drive? Fiat clearly doesn’t think so. This one-of-a-kind Fiat 500 Barbie was unveiled for Barbie’s 50th anniversary last year by Mattel and Fiat. As expected it’s extremely pink and girlie, the interior embellished with sparkling crystals, including a light-up vanity mirror as well as an all essential range of lip glosses in the glove compartment.
The Fiat 500 by Diesel has some fantastic trademark detailing such as denim upholstery with pocket stitching and Diesel badged gear stick. Not forgetting the stone-washed Midnight Indigo Blue paintwork, resembling a pair of their famous jeans.
Lacoste and YSL for Citroen
Citroen and Lacoste liased to build a concept car which was revealed at the Paris 2010 Motorshow in October. The outcome is this futuristic and sporty 4-seater, convertible buggy-style hatchback.
Citroen additionaly worked with fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent to create a special edition DS3. The modifications include the new red exterior paint work together with a black roof stamped with that unmistakable YSL logo. The vehicle was used to transport VIP guests to a retrospective YSL fashion exhibition in Paris earlier this year.
Hermes Bugatti Veyron
One of the most sophisticated reinterpretations was carried out by prestigious luxury brand Hermes on the Bugatti Veyron, uncovered at the Geneva Motorshow in 2008. The Hermes logo is featured on the front grille as well the H on the wheels of the impressive $2.3 million supercar. Hermes bull calfskin leather envelopes the interior, which is the least you’d expect for the outrageous price tag!
Hermes Smart Car
Another collaboration Hermes has been a part of is the restyling of the more affordable Smart Fortwo in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Smart Fortwo. The steering wheel and gear-shift cover is sheathed in leather and the interior is wrapped in the Herme’s signature ‘Toille H’ canvas.
Lamborghini and Versace have a history of dueting and these two alluring Italian luxury brands are a perfect marriage. The signature Versace Greek Key design is clearly visible on the soft nappa leather seats as well as on the exterior on both the white Mucielago LP640 and the show-stopping black edition of the LP640 Roadster.
Victoria Beckham’s Range Rover
We are very much looking forward to the onset of the Evoque this summer, supposedly the “greenest” Range Rover yet. It will be interesting to see how much input style icon Victoria Beckham will have on the interior design, after being appointed Creative Design Executive of the brand. Watch this space for a Special Edition Range Rover Evoque by Victoria herself.