Cars and high fashion: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Collaborations between car makers and leading fashion houses have become increasingly popular, with brands like Lamborghini, Land Rover, and Fiat teaming up with renowned designers to create special edition vehicles. While some of these collaborations have been successful, others have missed the mark.

FIAT 500 by Gucci

Italian fashion house Gucci collaborated with Fiat in 2011 to create the FIAT 500 by Gucci. Marketed towards fashion-forward customers, the car featured Gucci’s signature green and red stripes and was available in white or black. Despite its stylish appearance, the car’s performance left much to be desired, with a leisurely 0-60mph time of 12.5 seconds.

Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 Roadster by Versace

In 2006, Lamborghini joined forces with Milan fashion house Versace to create a limited-edition Murcielago LP640 Roadster. Only 20 of these luxury vehicles were produced, featuring the iconic Greek fret design and accessories such as luggage and sportswear. The Versace Roadster remains one of the rarest and most sought-after Murcielagos.

Mini 40th Anniversary by Paul Smith

In 1999, renowned fashion designer Paul Smith designed a one-off Mini to celebrate the original Mini’s 40th anniversary. Featuring 26 different colors and Smith’s signature stripes, the bespoke creation stood out at the Tokyo Motor Show and remains a classic today.

MINI Paceman Cavalli

Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli created a one-off MINI Paceman in 2013 to raise money for AIDS charities at an auction. The car featured eye-catching iridescent paint, a gold roof and wheels, and leather upholstery with animal prints. Despite the Paceman’s already polarizing design, Cavalli’s version succeeded in raising funds for a good cause.

Land Rover Defender by Paul Smith

Paul Smith’s creative touch extended to Land Rover’s iconic 4×4, the Defender. In 2015, Smith collaborated with Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division to create a one-off vehicle featuring a patchwork scheme that paid homage to the Defender’s history. The car also had luxurious touches inside.

Jaguar XE by Stella McCartney

In collaboration with fashion designer Stella McCartney, Jaguar unveiled a special edition of the XE sedan in 2014. The car featured a playful design with stamped faces that Vogue described as a “comic book world of superheroes and villains.” McCartney’s design was praised for its elegance, style, functionality, and performance.

Mercedes G-Class by Moncler

Luxury outerwear brand Moncler partnered with Mercedes to create an art piece called Project Mondo G. This unique collaboration transformed the rugged G-Class into a puffer jacket-inspired vehicle. The result was a fusion of opposites, blending the G-Class’s straight lines with soft, flowing textiles.

Smart ForJeremy by Jeremy Scott

Fashion designer Jeremy Scott, known for dressing celebrities like Beyonce and Lady Gaga, created a polarizing version of the Smart ForTwo in 2012. The car featured translucent carbon-fiber wings and caught attention for its unconventional design.

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