When Luxury Cars Meet High Fashion!
These are the top 20 most stylish ever collaborations between car manufacturers and fashion designers you need to know (great pics!).
To some people, a car is a fashion accessory, not just a means of transportation.
Car manufacturers have been aware of this for decades and have always catered to fashion-conscious motor enthusiasts.
For years, prominent car manufacturers have partnered with fashion brands – from sportswear lines to haute couture houses – to create limited-edition cars that transcend time.
These fashion and car partnerships have produced some of the most attention-grabbing vehicles in auto history, loved by enthusiasts of both worlds.
Without further ado, these are the top 20 luxury cars and high fashion brands collaborations ever:
Bugatti Chiron X Hermès
Hermes-Buggati is what you get when you mix one of the fastest cars in the world with a top fashion house.
Commissioned in 2019, Bugatti Chiron Hermes is designed for highly affluent individuals looking to own customized hypercars.
Unfortunately, this model is not available to everyone.
There’s only one model in active use, owned by Manny Koshbin – a California real estate mogul and supercar collector.
The car had a 16-cylinder “W” configuration engine, four turbochargers, and 64 valves.
The engine can generate 1001 horsepower at 6000 rpm and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 2.5 seconds.
It was, at that time, the fastest production car ever made.
From a luxury standpoint, the interior, dash, rear bulkhead, door handles, and seats were designed from scratch in the Hermès workshops in Paris and sheathed in bull calfskin.
The vents on the edge of the rims were also designed in the signature style of Hermès seams.
As ‘Car and Driver’ auto magazine noted:
“It is – as is everything associated with Veyron – gorgeous, nearly incomprehensible; words don’t do justice.“
This state-of-the-art Bugatti features details and finishes never seen before, such as a transparent glass roof and cashmere fabric on the door panels.
And, while you wait for the next version, check out this fantastic car stock image of it.
Dsquared² X Mini Cooper S “Red Mudder”
Canadian fashion designers Dean and Dan Caten – known as Dsquared² – designed a one-off Cooper S model to help AIDS research for Life Ball, Europe’s largest HIV/AIDS fundraiser.
The event also had designers such as Versace, Diesel, Kenneth Cole, and Calvin Klein create their interpretations of the MINI.
Custom retrofitted with a front guard, rally headlamps, tinted side windows, raised chassis, and spare tire on the tailgate.
Then, the brothers continued the adventurous theme on the inside.
The car has a customized compass, floormats of structured aluminum, and maple leaf on the leather head restraints.
“Our MINI ‘Red Mudder’ is 100 percent Dsquared²,” they remarked.
Landrover Defender X Paul Smith
This car was created to celebrate the ever-so-iconic and timeless British design elegance.
Paul Smith, a designer, wanted to have a customized version for himself, hence the Defender Paul Smith.
Hailing from the most exquisite British car showroom of those times, The Land Rover Defender has a history dating back to 1948.
Back then, it was used on rugged terrains such as mountainous and rocky landscapes.
To preserve the car’s legacy and multicultural nature, Paul Smith covered it with the most stunning Pantone shades.
A Special Vehicle Operation team from Land Rover was tasked with creating the 27 colors on the car’s exterior.
Its interior features Paul Smith Maharan fabric decorated with blue seams and black leather.
Volkswagen Golf GTI X Adidas
Adidas was tasked to design this special supercharged edition of Golf in the GTI version, powered by 211 HP.
Made by one of the most successful compact sports car companies in Europe, this model is renowned for its performance and longevity.
This particular Golf Adidas has been released in three-door and five-door versions.
The company’s sports clothing and accessories style has been chosen for the interior, and the finishes are two-tone.
Above all, the leather of the seats features the classic triple stripe of Adidas.
BAPE x Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing
Nigo, the founder of a streetwear brand, BAPE, has a long history of outrageous cars, whether a pink Bugatti or a camouflage-laden Ferrari 458 Italia.
However, his most disruptive car was a 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300S, retrofitted with a modern 6.0-liter V8 under the hood and camouflage print that seemed particularly aeronautical given the gullwing doors.
Produced directly by AMG, this model is a re-issue of the classic SL 300 ‘Gullwing’ of 1954;
However, only 11 pieces have been converted.
The project was initially designed for the Sultan of Brunei, and six cars were sent to it to be included in the massive royal collection.
The project was kept secret, but AMG offered the model to select at a price above 1,000,000 euros.
Although reactions were mixed, there was no denying that Nigo’s approach was unique, coinciding with BAPE streetwear Hong Kong’s 3rd-anniversary party.
Cadillac Seville X Gucci
The Cadillac Seville by Gucci was one of the few collaborations where a third party obtained the final product.
Aldo Gucci said at the time:
“The Gucci styling we have created for this car giveS the few fortunate owners a rare possession of distinction, beauty, and ultimate luxury.”
Available in white, black, or brown, the car came with a gold Gucci hood ornament, gold emblems on the wheels, front fenders and C-Pillar, and Gucci’s green and red stripes across the trunk lid.
Inside, upscale Gucci materials appeared on headrests, armrests, headliners, and floor mats.
To top it up, there was a five-piece Gucci luggage set stowed in the car’s trunk.
The inaugural 1978 edition cost $19,900 USD, while the 1979 model retailed for $22,900 USD.
Lincoln Continental Mark X Givenchy
Lincoln’s 1979 luxury Givenchy package appeared inside a car resembling a small boat than an automobile.
But then, that was the taste and aesthetics of the late 1970s.
Coming in at 19-feet-long and 6.5-feet-wide, the two-door vehicle weighed in at 4,787 pounds.
Available in various colors, the car featured the Givenchy G logo on the hood, the spare tire hump, and in the signature opera window.
The collaboration added $2,145 to the $13,000 base price of a Mark V and served as one of three other designer models that Lincoln would roll out for Bill Blass, Cartier, and Emilio Pucci.
Mercedes Benz X Swarovski
Headlights have never been a luxurious feature of any car.
However, thanks to the 47 Swarovski crystals arranged above each headlight, this S-class beauty has opulence and unmatched style.
Although Mercedez stated that the crystals don’t have any technical reason to exist, the stones give the car a distinctive look when matched with the LED Intelligent Light Systems.
The car is a two-door version of the Mercedes flagship sedan, and it comes with a heated armrest.
A sporty masterpiece, the car is packed with plush features such as an air-balance system that keeps it smelling exactly how you want it to smell.
Thom Browne X Infiniti Q50
In 2013, Infiniti teamed up with GILT to have designers Thom Browne and Zac Posen create bespoke versions of the brand’s Q50 sedans.
The Infiniti team gave them complete autonomy except that no rhinestones could be used on the dashboard and that they shouldn’t “go cutting the roof off,” said Keith St. Clair, Director of Marketing for Infiniti USA.
Browne specifically opted for a mirror-like exterior that toed the line between flashy and upscale and was in stark contrast to Posen’s design which was constructed in light silver matte paint.
Inside, sterling silver finishes complimented the exterior motif, finished off in signature red, white, and blue stripes.
And, as in previous car and designer collaborations, there was a luggage collection in the trunk.
Auctioned for $75,000, a portion of the sale proceeds was donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Mercedes Benz CLK 500 Cabriolet X Armani
Armani and Mercedes decided in 2004 to collaborate on a limited edition of the CLK 500, the convertible that best represents the shared values of both brands.
The Italian designer’s version features exclusive paint in a warm sand-colored shade with matching color tops and individual details taken from the AMG versions to give the car an elegant yet sporty image.
The client could customize the cabin with leather accents and shades adjusted according to the exterior paint.
Powered by a V8 engine, the car had a maximum power of 306 HP.
Citroën X Lacoste
Described by the automakers as “an emblem for a state of mind,” the concept car between Citroën and Lacoste was first revealed at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.
“Positioned at the crossroads of automotive, fashion, and sports, the car strikes a playful note of design expertise and a lightness of STYLE,”
reads the official press.
Measuring only 135.8 inches long – nearly three feet shorter than a Ford Fiesta – the collaboration was meant to dispel the notion that “more was always better” when designing a car.
There is a notable absence of doors, the instrument panel, and the roof – replaced instead by an inflatable canopy that could run from the car’s rear to the windshield header.
Even the headlamps are discreet to the point of being invisible, concealed under the car’s dark blue bodywork until they’re switched on.
And for some strange reason, many because of the car’s look, I always imagined someone dressed in Fairy Grunge clothing as the ideal person to own this car.
Maserati Quattroporte X Ermenegildo Zegna
Two excellences of ‘Made in Italy’ came together to celebrate Maserati’s 100 years of success.
Luxury and sophistication characterize every detail of the interior of the Maserati Quattroporte Ermenegildo Zegna.
Zegna’s sartorial touch is present everywhere, in the combination of leather and silk, in the delicate shades of Greige (grey and beige), and on the interior.
It can also be seen in the wood, chrome, and brass pieces found on the console and the “One of 100” sign.
Meyers Manx X Berluti
This heritage menswear label has launched a fun, made-to-order summer ride that pays homage to the carefree surf culture of 1960s southern California manifested in 60s fashion: A beach buggy.
Inspired by the original 1964 Meyers Manx buggy model by Bruce F. Meyers, Berluti’s version of a Volkswagen Beetle is fitted with an open-wheeled polyester bodyshell replicating the original model.
The car has a canvas soft-top featuring the brand’s new signature print by Berluti’s Creative Director, Kris Van Assche.
The Berluti logo appears on the hood in palladium-finished brass and as a subtle imprint on the steering wheel.
For the dashboard, interiors, and handcrafted seats, buyers are offered a selection of leathers and patinas.
There is also a black leather removable luggage carrier in the trunk.
At just 500kg, the car is powered by an air-cooled 1600cc flat-four engine of 90 HP.
Lamborghini Murciélago LP 640 X Versace
A partnership between two of the biggest global brands gave birth to the fantastic supercar that is Lamborghini Murcielago LP 640 Versace.
Produced in support of the Paris Mondial de l’Automobile and to celebrate Fashion Week in Milan, only two Lamborghini Murciélago LP 640 Versace editions – blue and white – reportedly have a price tag of over $1 million each.
Powered by a 6.5-liter V12 that produces 640 HP, the notable Versace accents come on the interior courtesy of the Versace designers and the specialists for the ‘Ad Personam’ program at Lamborghini.
The teams stamped the Nappa leather on the dashboard, doors, headliner, and seats with the distinctive Versace Greek fret motif.
Versace designers perfected the interior of the already impressive Murcielago.
The upholstery on the seats, the central console, the headliner, the dashboard, and the doors were updated using luxurious Nappa leather featuring Versace’s distinctive logo.
The Lamborghini Versace has all the features you’d look for in a flagship model: high-gloss ‘Hermera’ black-finished wheels, a carbon fiber interior finish, and a stunning glass engine cover.
Ford Thunderbird X FILA
The 80s marked the end of many designer and automotive collaborations.
Yet, Ford and Fila continued the trend with their take on the 1984-85 Thunderbird.
In an attempt to celebrate Fila’s relationship with tennis professional Bjorn Borg, the duo presented the car under the tagline, “The road has met its match.”
Fila colors – in black, red, and medium charcoal – appeared as small accents on the car’s white frame, while the interior featured a new digital instrument panel.
Those that purchased the Thunderbird also received a Fila sports bag containing a beach towel, sun visor, headband, and branded tennis wristbands.
Fiat 500C X Gucci
The Fiat 500 will always be an icon of Italianness at an international level.
Add to that an evening dress by Gucci, and you’ve got a car for the history books.
Customized by Frida Giannini – at the time, creative director of the brand – in collaboration with the Fiat Style Centre, the car is packed with accessories and details that enhance its style and elegance.
Outside we find Gucci’s green-red-green monogram imprinted longitudinally along the sedan’s side.
At the same time, the alloy wheels with the unmistakable retro design of the rays embellish the exterior, and the hubcaps are branded with the double “G” in body color and the Gucci signature in italics.
Fiat X Bulgari
If a car could channel the joy, hedonism, and exuberance that defines the 1950s fashion of Italy, it would be the fabulous little Fiat 500 by Bulgari.
Like a rare jewel, there are only three units of this Fiat 500 special edition in the world.
And this first-ever electric model of the beloved Cinquecento truly lives up to its name of “never enough.”
Evoking the light of the Eternal City, its metallic paint in Imperial Saffron is achieved through the integration of gold dust.
Bulgari’s Parentesi motif is reimagined on the engine front grid, while its eight-pointed star is referenced on the wheel rims.
Its interiors showcase a dashboard covered in colorful hand-painted silk and seats decked out in embroidered octane leather.
Mercedes-Benz x Virgil Abloh
Mercedes-Benz collaborated with the chief creative director and founder of Off White and the Men’s artistic director of Louis Vuitton, Virgil Abloh, to create Project Geländewagen.
The Mercedes-Benz Chief Design Officer, Gorden Wegner, and Abloh took the legendary G-Class SUV to disrupt the classic notions of luxury.
The collaboration unveiled the G-Class, which looked radically different from any versions of the popular SUV before.
The Project Geländewagen is essentially a racing version of the G stripped out completely to make it a canvas.
The partially sanded paintwork is there to embrace the notion of beauty in imperfection.
The interior is barebones, with an F1 steering wheel and racing seats. The safety elements are highlighted in red.
There are light blue elements that pop up in an otherwise spartan cabin. The 1:3 replica of the car was auctioned to Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated program.
AMC Hornet X Gucci
The AMC Hornet was considered a rather mundane car during the start of the 1970s fashion.
However, that all changed when the hatchback was given a luxury upgrade in 1972 thanks to Gucci – resulting in a Sportabout model with a distinct flare-sloping hatch rather than a traditional tailgate.
Between 1972-1973 4,835 models were produced – including a one-off for Aldo Gucci himself.
Although there was Gucci branding on the exterior, the car’s interior could appreciate one of the first examples of high-fashion aesthetics appearing inside a vehicle.
The result was signature red and green striping on unique beige-colored upholstery fabrics and the ivory headliner with Gucci’s trademark double-G pattern.
From a novelty perspective, there was also a writing desk with a lamp and sterling silver pen that folded out from the dash, as well as a compartment hidden in the back of the driver’s seat that opened to reveal a miniature liquor cabinet and removable box to play card games.
All of this could be had – at the time – for an extra $141.80.
AMC continued the designed trend for two more years – with the Cardin Javelin in 1973 and the Cassini Matador in 1974 – before retiring the upscale collaborations for good.
Peugeot 205 X Lacoste
Peugeot and the tennis world date back to 1984 when he first sponsored Roland Garros, one of the essential tennis tournaments at the international level.
The 205 Lacoste was then proposed with a unique set-up characterized by different references to the world of tennis, such as the stickers placed in the rear pillars that pointed to the network of the tennis court.
Similarly, the pastel white of the bodywork and wheel are covered with dark green laths, and the three crocodiles recall the famous “chemise” Lacoste.
The Crocodile X Lion partnership is further celebrated in the middle of the steering wheel, where the two logos meet.
I hope you have enjoyed this different kind of fast fashion article 😉
Apparently, the automotive and the fashion industry don’t have much in common.
However, one concept is found quite often in both teams.
The concept of a ‘limited edition’ is a lucrative way of elevating brand image and value.
Now it’s your turn…
Which one of these car and fashion collaborations is your favorite and why?
If you had the power to create a fashion brand and car maker collaboration, which brands would you match?
Are there any other luxury cars and fashion brand collaborations you think I should add to my article?
Comments below, please!
Growing up in western PEI, Bruce Knox blends his extensive public health, non-profit, and public sector background with a deep love for innovative technologies to bring people together in healthier communities and environments.