Prepare for the collab you never knew you needed. In the first initiative of its kind, Mercedes-Benz Chief Design Officer, Gorden Wagener, is teaming up with the polymath artist, architect, and fashion designer, Virgil Abloh, the mastermind behind the iconic streetwear brand Off-White, and Men’s Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton.
In case you've been living under a rock, his co-conspirators to date have included Nike, Jimmy Choo, Evian, IKEA, and even Jay-Z and Kanye West, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presented a major traveling survey of Abloh’s work in summer 2019 which became one of the highest attended exhibitions in the museum’s history. Need we go on?
The iconic Mercedes-Benz G-Class turned 40 in 2019 and is now experiencing a reboot as Wagener and Abloh create a new and unique artwork together, pushing the boundaries of their respective creative realms in order to rebuild the luxury landscape anew.
This announcement comes at an incredibly critical time for the arts and for the international creative community. As such, Mercedes-Benz and Abloh feel compelled to aid the struggling community by auctioning off a one-of-a-kind home-scale replica of the original creation. Following September’s launch, the artwork will be sold and all proceeds donated to a charity that supports the arts.
Giving his insight into the project’s potentialities, Wagener explains, “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.”
He expands, “The next step in pushing Mercedes-Benz design is our collaboration with Virgil Abloh. We are set to create something unseen in both of our branches.”
Bettina Fetzer, Vice President of Marketing at Mercedes-Benz AG, explains, “Teaming up with Virgil Abloh, one of the most influential and inspiring creatives of our time, represents Mercedes-Benz’ idea of Zetigeist, 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.”
Abloh, too, praises the automobile company as, “Truly a perfect chassis to interject modern artists’ ideas of what the future can be stylistically, within conceptual car design.” We see what you did there, Virgil.
Drawing on the elements of Mercedes-Benz’ DNA - namely, exclusive materials, first-class craftsmanship and highly developed design - Wagener and Abloh’s creation will embody the firm’s innate understanding of luxury and how it can, in fact, be used for good.
For teaser of what's to come, put Tuesday 8 September 2020 4pm CET in your diary, sign up for the event reminder here, and get hyped.