LV artistic director Virgil Abloh trades runway for highway in Mercedes-Benz collaboration

Titled “Project Geländewagen,” the limited-edition artwork is inspired by the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

The collaboration marks the unification of fashion and art with automotive (All photos: Mercedes-Benz)

It’s easy to get cynical about collabs, especially if they’re designed to coax us into thinking that a sneaker with a swoosh or a hoodie with a Barbara Kruger-inspired font is more desirable. 

Unless you’re Virgil Abloh, of course.

Having created his own multi-hyphenate persona, the artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear and CEO of Milan-based label Off-White is trading fabric for asphalt in his latest collaboration with Mercedes-Benz. The partnership is set to create a unique artwork from the iconic G-class, an SUV which debuted 41 years ago.

Named Project Geländewagen, Abloh will be working closely with Mercedes-Benz Chief Design Officer Gorden Wagener to support the creative industries in light of the global pandemic. The artwork will be digitally launched to a global audience on September 8, 10pm (Malaysian time).

A one of a kind home-scale replica of the unique artwork will be auctioned off following September’s launch. Not only will all proceeds be donated to a charity that supports the arts, the winner of the model auction will also receive exclusive access to the co-creators, including a personal introduction to the inspirations behind the artwork and the creative powerhouses’ aspirations for it. 

 “Mercedes-Benz is a brand that stands for luxury and exceptional performance,” says Virgil Abloh. “Truly a perfect chassis to interject modern artists’ ideas of what the future can be stylistically, within conceptual car design.”

The mashup attests to the fact that Mercedes-Benz is more than just a luxury carmaker. Wagener admits that the marque’s success story owes it to the brand's aesthetic soul and unique style. Bettina Fetzer, Vice President Marketing at Mercedes-Benz AG also concurs, “Teaming up with Virgil Abloh, one of the most influential and inspiring creatives of our time, represents Mercedes-Benz´ idea of Zeitgeist, co-creation and contemporary luxury – for both our products and our brand.” 

How will Abloh, who have stunned the world with his co-conspirators such as Jimmy Choo, Jay-Z, Kanye West and even IKEA, replicate first-man craftsmanship by drawing on the ingredients of Mercedes-Benz DNA?

We shall find out when September arrives.




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