Design & Style
15 September 2020
Design & Style
15 September 2020
In the first initiative of its kind, Project Geländewagen sees Mercedes-Benz collaborate with the polymath artist, architect, creative director and fashion designer Virgil Abloh to create a unique artwork from the iconic Mercedes-Benz G-Class, which turned 40 in 2019. Working in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Chief Design Officer, Gorden Wagener, the partnership marks the unification of two worlds: fashion and art with automotive. The objective? To push the boundaries of each respective creative realm and rebuild the luxury landscape anew.
Both Mercedes-Benz and Abloh felt compelled to help support the arts and the international creative community at a critical time. A one of a kind home-scale replica of the unique artwork will be auctioned off following September’s launch. All proceeds will be donated to a charity that supports the arts. The winner of the model auction will also receive exclusive access to the co-creators, including a personal introduction to the inspirations behind the artwork and the creative powerhouses’ aspirations for it.
“Teaming up with Virgil Abloh, one of the most influential and inspiring creatives of our time, represents Mercedes-Benz´ idea of Zeitgeist, co-creation and contemporary luxury – for both our products and our brand.” says Bettina Fetzer, Vice President Marketing at Mercedes-Benz AG. “By launching Project Geländewagen now we hope to inspire collaboration and creativity in our global audience.
“Mercedes-Benz is a brand that stands for luxury and exceptional performance,” says Virgil Abloh. “Truly a perfect chassis to interject modern artists’ ideas of what the future can be stylistically, within conceptual car design.”
“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.” says Gorden Wagener. “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,” states Gorden Wagener.
Recognising people’s ambitions and adapting to facilitate them, Mercedes-Benz stands proudly as a brand that inspires creative minds around the globe. Drawing on the ingredients of Mercedes-Benz DNA: exclusive materials, first-class craftsmanship and highly developed design which appeals to all the senses of a discerning clientele, Wagener and Abloh’s creation will embody Mercedes-Benz’ innate understanding of luxury, and how it can be a force for good.
About Virgil Abloh
Born in Rockford, Illinois, Virgil Abloh is an artist, architect, engineer, creative director, and fashion designer. After earning a degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he completed a master’s degree in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago. At IIT, while studying a design curriculum devised by Mies van der Rohe, Abloh began to craft the principles of his art practice. The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presented a major traveling survey of Abloh’s work in summer 2019 – one of the highest attended exhibitions in the museum’s history. Currently, Abloh is the Chief Creative Director and founder of Off-White and Men’s Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton.
About Gorden Wagener
Born in Essen, Gorden Wagener is the Chief Design Officer Daimler Group – a position he has held since 2016. After studying Industrial Design at the University of Essen, he honed his skills in Transportation Design at London’s Royal College of Art. He joined Mercedes-Benz over two decades ago. In 2008 he was made Director of Daimler AG´s Design unit. All current models of the Daimler Group vehicle portfolio bear Wagener's signature, from all Mercedes-Benz passenger and commercial vehicles to all truck and bus brands forming today’s Daimler Trucks AG. His ground-breaking work has earned him a number of accolades including an honorary professorship at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest (2009) and an honorary doctorate at Sofia Technical University (2010) for rival manufacturers to aspire to.