Mercedes-Benz tapped Virgil Abloh for a new collaboration because he is a "leader in pop culture".
The American designer is one of the busiest men in fashion. As well as helming his own label, Off-White, he is also the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's men's. On top of his label commitments, he regularly teams with other brands and artists, including a new partnership with the luxury carmaker.
Abloh has created limited-edition artwork inspired by the Mercedes-Benz G-Class car, titled Project Geländewagen, which will be unveiled in September.
"(Abloh is) the leader in pop culture," Bettina Fetzer, vice president of marketing at Mercedes-Benz, told WWD, explaining why they wanted to team up with the designer. "We picked Virgil because he really brings his unique approach to that. If you have met him before, you know he can be very philosophical about what he's doing and there's this kind of substance behind him. There is this whole inspiration and then he translates it into a product. It was absolutely inspirational for us, we also think that with all the story that we're going to be telling around this piece, we will be able to create a very emotional brand story to connect our different audiences."
Working closely with Gorden Wagener, chief design officer at the German car company, the 39-year-old describes the collaboration as "a perfect chassis to interject modern artists' ideas of what the future can be stylistically, within conceptual car design".
A home-scale replica of the piece will be auctioned online later in September, with proceeds donated to charities that support the arts and the international creative community.
Wagener said: "Mercedes-Benz today is much more than a luxury carmaker, it is a design brand and luxury label. One major reason for our success story is our aesthetic soul and the unique style of our house. The next step in pushing Mercedes-Benz's design is our collaboration with Virgil Abloh. We are set to create something unseen in both of our branches."
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