Kith. Virgil. Arsham. Industry titans who have reshaped the world of fashion and design over the past few years. For 2020, a familiar trend for automobile manufacturers were to collaborate with creatives. Here are some notable ones.

Virgil Abloh, the founder and creative director of Off White has collaborated with Mercedes-Benz for “Project Gelandewagen”. For the project, the car is set as an art piece for auction for charity.

Abloh was inspired by race cars, infused with his personal retro-modern touch.

The steering wheel takes a few cues from AMG F1 cars.

Built as a one-off, it would be interesting to see Virgil work on a more feasible project for the market.

Daniel Arsham, a New York-based architect/sculpture artist has collaborated with Porsche for “930A”. As a personal car, the 911 Turbo was reimagined for his personal liking. Arsham spent his childhood dreaming about a 930, a 935 K3 and other iconic Porsche racing cars of the past.

With the help of Ted Gushue from Type 7, Arsham was connected to the world of aftermarket creators. This included wheels from Fifteen52 and a full Focal sound system.

The entire car has been reworked for his liking, this includes a speedometer ring detail as a nod to the Japanese-imported Turbos in the 80s. 

“The logos each nod to Arsham’s past – previous collaborators, gallery representations and fictional future races. In a way, I was blending my own past with the heritage of race liveries,” says Arsham in an interview with Porsche.

Arsham is no stranger to Porsche as he worked on his 992 “driveable art piece” last 2019. The 911, which features his trademark post-apocalyptic design is driven around New York and displayed in art museums.

The Kith x BMW activation. Possibly the most detailed collaboration for 2020 – in and out of the automotive industry. Ronnie Fieg of Kith sent his personal 89 E30 M3 to Germany for a full rebuild.

The car debuted a 96-piece capsule collection, which featured a full apparel line plus some accessories.

Fieg is known for his ability to reimagine brands through adding his personal touch on logos and share stories of personal encounters.

To seal off the project, Kith launched a BMW M4 Competition collaboration produced in 150 units worldwide. Within the span of a few hours, the car was sold out through BMW/Kith’s online pre-order system.

Deliveries are set globally for summer 2021 for this very unique project.

The trend of automotive marquees collaborating with artists is just getting started.. Which brands would you love to see collaborate?

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Kevin Carlos

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