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Mercedes G-Class X Virgil Abloh : Automobile meets art

In fashion, there is the Hermès Birkin bag. In the automobile industry, there is the Mercedes G-Class. Both of them are legends in their fields. Both of them haven’t aged a bit over their forty year history. And yet, at the beginning, nothing had destined this car – originally designed for military purposes for the Shah of Iran in the 70s – to become the most sought-after car on the fashion planet, and for all generations. If there’s ever a designer who knows who to turn legends of the past into tomorrow’s objects of desire, it is Virgil Abloh, currently creative director of menswear at Louis Vuitton. So when Mercedes gave him carte blanche to design his own vision of the G-Class, the designer took the opposite road, and chose to add a racing spin to this off-roader. When designing a race car, the most important element is to get rid of as much weight as possible. So the G-Class was entirely stripped of its upholstery including the wig mirrors and outside handles! Then the ultra-light elements from the ‘hypercar’ Mecerdes Project One were assembled onto it: buckets, steering wheel, rocker arms, tubular structure, and so on. The windows were even replaced by nets you only find on American race cars. All that remained was to lower the body as close as possible to the huge “slick” tires. Abloh’s idea was to create the ultimate racing street car in the spirit of car culture 3.0 – and it’s the perfect illustration of the designer’s unique artistic vision.

Mercedes G-Class X Virgil Abloh : Automobile meets art

In fashion, there is the Hermès Birkin bag. In the automobile industry, there is the Mercedes G-Class. Both of them are legends in their fields. Both of them haven’t aged a bit over their forty year history. And yet, at the beginning, nothing had destined this car – originally designed for military purposes for the Shah of Iran in the 70s – to become the most sought-after car on the fashion planet, and for all generations. If there’s ever a designer who knows who to turn legends of the past into tomorrow’s objects of desire, it is Virgil Abloh, currently creative director of menswear at Louis Vuitton. So when Mercedes gave him carte blanche to design his own vision of the G-Class, the designer took the opposite road, and chose to add a racing spin to this off-roader. When designing a race car, the most important element is to get rid of as much weight as possible. So the G-Class was entirely stripped of its upholstery including the wig mirrors and outside handles! Then the ultra-light elements from the ‘hypercar’ Mecerdes Project One were assembled onto it: buckets, steering wheel, rocker arms, tubular structure, and so on. The windows were even replaced by nets you only find on American race cars. All that remained was to lower the body as close as possible to the huge “slick” tires. Abloh’s idea was to create the ultimate racing street car in the spirit of car culture 3.0 – and it’s the perfect illustration of the designer’s unique artistic vision.

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