Automakers will try almost anything to move product, including using another company's image to enhance a car. Those others occasionally try the same in reverse as well. Sometimes these connections betray a lack of judgment, market savvy, or plain common sense. These are Jalopnik readers' picks for the weirdest automaker/fashion cross-marketing ideas in auto history.
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Photo Credit: Alfa/Levi's
10.) Bijan Bugatti Veyron
Suggested By: Braniff747SP
Why it's such a mismatch: The late Iranian-emigrant fashion maven definitely had an individual perspective on paint and trim for his vehicles. And the owner of the self-styled "most expensive store in the world" doubtless felt justified in his acquisition and modification of the most expensive new car in the world. Further proof that Veyrons are earning a troubling reputation as pure id signifiers instead of high-performance cars.
Photo Credit: Wade Kelly
9.) Holland & Holland Range Rover by Overfinch
Suggested By: chazzlive
Why it's such a mismatch: On one hand, Range Rover teaming up with such a properly British field-sport sort of company makes perfect sense. Trying to entice well-funded Rover buyers with guns and high-priced liquor certainly seems to be a logical strategy. However, the idea that you'd actually sell a truck loaded up with booze and firearms only seems logical in certain parts of the United Kingdom and most of Texas.
Photo Credit: Range Rover
8.) Citroën C3 D&G
Suggested By: Guac' O'Donnell
Why it's such a mismatch: Sex sells. Sexy cars sell. Associate your car with the dripping-carnality reputation of Dolce & Gabbana and the young and horny won't resist, right? If it was that easy, psychologists and marketers would have a lot more time on their hands. Cute enough car, but please. Also, why would a French company find it necessary to hold hands with the Italians?
7.) Ford Aerostar Eddie Bauer
Suggested By: RazoE
Why it's such a mismatch: Ford's not-so-minivan was the recipient of what can only be called special-edition inertia: the name of the Seattle outdoors retailer was being applied to pretty much everything else in the truck lineup, so why not the (very non-outdoorsy) Aerostar, too? Distinguishing features included tan bodyside cladding and...well, not much else.
Photo Credit: Ford
6.) Mercury Villager Nautica
Suggested By: pdoten
Why it's such a mismatch: Ford's second debatable minivan-fashion tie-in, and even more of a headscratcher than the first. The decision to tie their upscale suburban pod to a rapidly-sinking sportswear company speaks to the ability of Dearborn marketing people to be persistently behind the fashion curve.
That said, it's at least kinda interesting that the white lowers were inspired by boat shoes.
Photo Credit: Ford/Alden Jewell
5.) AMC Gremlin Levi's Edition
Suggested By: My X-type is too a real Jaguar
Why it's such a mismatch: American Motors meets American fashion mainstay and everything is just blue. Perhaps as a counterpoint to their haughtier offerings (wait and see), AMC also had an agreement with Levi's for a signature model. Probably the best-known of the bunch because of the retro-trendy pure Seventies vibe of the whole thing. Nasty little secret: We're pretty sure the seat material wasn't real denim.
Photo Credit: AMC/theselvedgeyard.wordpress.com
4.) Etienne Aigner Volkswagen Cabriolet
Suggested By: Altemus Prime
Why it's such a mismatch: Some stereotypes are best left unreinforced. However, the marketing mavens at Volkswagen and the leather-goods specialists at Etienne Aigner decided that the essential juniors-section shopaholic ride was the perfect platform for a accessories-centric special edition. The door panels with horseshoe-pattern fabric are unspeakably gauche.
Photo Credit: eBay via germancarsforsaleblog.com
3.) Ed Hardy smart fortwo
Suggested By: I, Oilburner
Why it's such a mismatch: One qualification: Another aftermarket special that spares the factory blame. (See also: Gucci Cadillac Seville.) That said, damn. It's not that this is just a combination of some of the ugliest "fashion" of the decade and one of the worst cars of the decade; it's that the two components are so dazzlingly dissonant. Repackaged pretend bad-ass attitude meets Eurodweeb city car and results in a mistake for all time.
Photo Credit: smartcartattoo.com
2.) AMC Matador Oleg Cassini Edition
Suggested By: Honda_Hooning_Daily_Driver
Why it's such a mismatch: We cannot blame American Motors for wanting to dress its products well. We can wonder what the hell some of the most respected haute couture houses had in mind with their dalliances with the lead sleds of Kenosha. Ideally, tie-ins are supposed to make everyone invoved come off better; these efforts made the AMC cars look weirdly pretentious and did few favors for the fashion houses.
At least the Matador had a sort of swoopy Seventies-glam look to it. The same can't be said for its corporate sibling that started the whole misbegotten thing....
Photo Credit: AMC/Alden Jewell
1.) AMC Hornet Gucci Edition
Suggested By: Defender90
Why it's such a mismatch: The car that started the fashion-label trend was perhaps the most wretched and misguided of the whole set. Gucci was suffering an identity crisis at the time, and apparently appreciated the chance to get some broader recognition. The Hornets with their striped vinyl interiors that resulted were exactly five letters away from being nothing special; the few cars that survive are testaments to a genuinely strange idea about how cars and fashion mix.
Photo Credit: AMC/artandcolour.blogspot.com