When you have the design world at your palm it easy to get to the bag. Virgil Abloh is doing cars now.
In what is arguably his most out the box collaboration the Chicago native has partnered up with Mercedes-Benz for a very unique take one of their most beloved models. The creative has redesigned their Geländewagen SUV in honor of the Nobu Malibu location in California. Virgil and Mercedes Chief Creative Director Gorden Wagene detailed the effort with the G-Class silhouette in High Snobiety.
Abloh explained the car’s distinct scheme in his signature wax poetic delivery. “It shows that luxury doesn’t have to conform to ways of the past. It shows that design can show a new personality” he said. “Our partnership came about sort of organically. We met up, and instantly started flowing ideas back and forth of what we could do if we were to collaborate, and it all just grew from there.”.
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first sketch of 1 million ideas. @gorden.wagener & i announce the first result @mercedesbenz design studio studying what luxury may look like in 100 years. initial collaboration titled "Project Geländewagen". transforming the iconic off-road vehicle in an enhanced AMG prototype purely for the street. photography c/o @bafic ~ initial scale 1/3 prototype auctioned via @sothebys for monitory design eduction initiatives anchored by “Post-Modern” scholarship initiative.
He went on to further detail why the look and feel of the ride is so polarizing. “One of the key points that we wanted to come across in the final product is the idea of being handmade, and human touch” he revealed. “You see this most in the finish of the car – it’s not a glossy, dark paint finish. This is intentional and something that was really important to the both of us. We’ve brought in a lot of racing elements as well, which are apparent throughout the exterior and interior of the vehicle”.
But if you put all the hype to the side, his version strikes a glaring resemblance to the Kia Soul; an economically priced subcompact crossover SUV that is far from luxury. For those scratching their heads this was the same car that a trio of hamsters made famous in their version of Party Rock”. You relive the moment below.
A replica of Project Geländewagen is set to be auctioned at Sotheby’s with the proceeds going to charity.