Artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear, Virgil Abloh, has unveiled his latest project: a stylish spin on a classic Mercedes-Benz
Heard of Project Gelandewagen? If not, then listen up.
Announced back in July, Project Gelandewagen is a celebration of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class (recognised as an off-roading staple). To ring in its fourth decade, Gorden Wagener, chief design officer at Mercedes-Benz, had something special planned – a collaboration with world renowned fashion designer Virgil Abloh.
Working together on a one-off project, the creatives decided to push the boundaries by crossing the G-Class with a race car design – marking the unification of the fashion and art world with the automotive realm.
Speaking at the virtual launch of the car today, Abloh revealed, ‘I like things that stand out in the crowd.’ The G-Class, he continued, which is normally used for off-roading, has an ‘unassuming silhouette’ that one might expect to be better suited ‘for the mountain.’ To switch up the design, they looked to NASCAR for inspiration. ‘We played with this freedom of cross-pollinating different attributes of race cars and car design’, he said.
Just before you get carried away imagining yourself racing down the motorway, the car’s not driveable – with Abloh viewing his contribution as a homage to the arts at a critical time.
Both Mercedes-Benz and Abloh feel compelled to shine a light on the creative industry, with a smaller replica of the car being auctioned off at Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated sale to support an arts organisation. Advanced bidding begins on 14th September.
‘My ultimate goal in this project with Mercedes-Benz is inspiring young artists, engineers, designers to question the status quo, in addition to experimenting with my own design abilities, said Abloh.
‘For me it’s all about providing opportunities for those coming after me and giving this next generation a foundation for success.’
Project Geländewagen kick started when the celebrated fashion designer and artist, who founded the luxury Off-White label before joining Louis Vuitton, got in touch with Wagener and expressed interest in collaborating on a new project. They settled on a new concept inspired by the Mercedes-AMG G 63 model, and began envisioning how it would look on the racing track.
‘We wanted to put the G into a completely different environment’, Wagener said. ‘Everybody puts it off road…that’s already there. So we did the opposite. We put it down to the ground and put big racing tires on it.’
Speaking of the collaboration, Bettina Fetzer, Vice President of Marketing at Mercedes Benz AG, said: ‘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.’
‘By launching Project Geländewagen now we hope to inspire collaboration and creativity in our global audience’, she continued.
For further information about Mercedes-Benz, visit www.mercedes-benz.com