These days the cars we drive are as much an accessory as any other wearable fashion, and it's a fact that many manufacturers have caught onto. Collaborative special editions are becoming increasingly commonplace as manufacturers and clothing designers use these mash-ups as high-end branding exercises in addition to creating something unique in the name of fashion.
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Colours, textiles, patterns, symmetry: these are the things that mould both the fashion and the automotive worlds. So it’s only natural that every now and then, these two industries fuse together in interesting ways. Here are 10 occasions when automotive and fashion have given birth to good, bad, and ugly cars.
1. Fiat 500 Gucci
Cute as a button but still maintaining serious catwalk intent, the Fiat 500 Gucci edition was released in 2013 and featured the famous colour scheme of the Italian design house. A mere 101 examples were offered in Australia and the car featured Gucci badging, Gucci-inspired interior and a new set of GG inscribed wheels.
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2. Jaguar XE by Stella McCartney
Debuting at the October 2014 Paris Motor Show, Jaguar hired Stella McCartney to garnish its XE sport sedan. The result was an average-looking black sedan covered in superhero heads – a design taken straight from McCartney’s Spring 2015 range. We’re pretty sure the brief probably used words like “fun” and “fashionable”, but we’re wondering if “nightwear” was also a requirement. Possibly not, but while it’s certainly entertaining, we think this is one occasion a car should remain behind closed garage doors.
3. Citroen C4 Cactus Rip Curl edition
Surf's up! Citroen debuted the Rip Curl special edition C4 Cactus in 2016 to promote its GromSearch initiative to find young surfers and 15 examples were on offer Down Under. The special edition differentiated itself by featuring a Rip Curl graphics pack on the exterior and while the interior was treated to new orange floor mats, seat belts and speaker surrounds.
4. Maserati Quattroporte Ermenegildo Zegna
Featuring only the finest fabrics, the Zegna-inspired Maserati Quattroporte placed emphasis on quality additions rather than some of the sticker packs here. The high fashion brand's silks were used as inserts for the seats, door cards and headliner.
5. Ford Laser Carla Zampatti
Rarer than a Lamborghini and one surely destined for the automotive hall of fame, the Carla Zampatti Ford Laser and Meteor featured female-inspired touches. Good luck finding one of these beauties on the second hand market.
6. Bugatti Veyron FBG par Hermès
Not one to shy away from a special edition, the Bugatti Veyron featured many over its ten year lifespan. However, few came more exclusive than the four-example Veyron FBG par Hermès edition. The exterior featured many of the brand's H logos while the bespoke interior was designed in house by the Paris Hermès team.
7. AMC Gremlin Levi's
Top-stitched denim is a perennial fashion and vehicle fave. In 1973 the Levi’s Gremlin was “the economy car that wears the pants”, with orange stitching, rivets and faux-denim upholstery. Two years later, Levi’s created a top and interior denim option for Jeep that was so popular it ran until 1986.
8. Range Rover Evoque Victoria Beckham
The Posh Evoque boasts a “masculine” matte-grey exterior with rose gold trim, extensive leather and a four-piece luggage set. All for twice the price of a regular Evoque. No word on whether the seats are sized for skinny-people only, but ironically Posh couldn’t fit her own family into this car.
9. Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 Versace edition
It's hard to believe some people need a Lamborghini Murcielago to be more special than it already is, but here we are. The Versace collaboration with Lamborghini gave birth to a specially designed Murcielago LP640 that featured the designer's distinct pattern on the door sill, and a two-tone Versace leather interior. A luggage set was also available for customers to option. One example of this 20-run series made its way to Australia.
10. Rover Mini by Paul Smith
A 9 carat gold badge on the bonnet,a wild green accented engine bay and bright blue paintwork did the job for a distinctively-British Paul Smith inspired Rover Mini.