The act of displaying a fashion brand name on a vehicle is not particularly new. During the ‘80s and ‘90s, the Bill Blass and Cartier nameplates adorned some editions of Lincoln products; Ford partnered with Eddie Bauer on top range Explorers and Peugeot developed a special edition 205 with Lacoste. Most recently, limited-edition examples of the 2021 Fiat 500 were created in partnership with Giorgio Armani, Bulgari and Kartell.
In that vein, designers Jasmine Wallace and Trym Abrahamsen teamed up to create a project to showcase the potential of a collaboration between an automotive brand with fashion labels. But their project is a lot more than just a brand name affixed to a C-pillar or instrument panel. It’s a two-way street.
In their case, Wallace and Abrahamsen chose Polestar as the carmaker and showed a series of collaborative proposals with Acne Studios, Moncler and Off-White. While Polestar provides a platform – i.e. a vehicle – for a fashion branded experience, the labels also feature clothing and spaces designed to showcase the Polestar brand.
“With this project, we want to push the boundaries of automotive design by making the car into a fashion statement rather than just a means of mobility,” say the designers. “We believe there is huge potential for Polestar (and the rest of the automotive industry), both in reaching the new generation and in building a wider brand through fashion.”
Starting with the car – a low-slung, two-passenger vehicle with expansive glazed areas – Wallace and Abrahamsen imbued the concept with Polestar’s characteristic design elements, such as the Thor’s Hammer headlamps and full-width architectural taillamp. They also mimicked some of the company’s typographic treatment at the front and on the bodyside. They then went to work to include the colorways and aesthetic treatments associated with the fashion brands they chose to partner with.
Swedish brand Acne Studios is known for mixing art, fashion and architecture. Wallace and Abrahamsen sought to bring that concept further in the vehicle’s interior. The light-colored cabin is made from soft, recyclable bio-plastics – which play into Polestar’s sustainability theme – while the steering wheel was given a soft and friendly feel through the use of the molded foam and matte bio-plastics.
Collaborations go both ways, and the designers thought to create a collection of clothing and accessories that could carry the Polestar brand into fashion as well as the other way around. “Roller skates are the smallest and most enjoyable type of personal mobility,” says Wallace. “For Acne, we paired the ‘soft body’ skates with an oversized corduroy suit and deconstructed white button-down putting a twist on classic pieces.”
Strong blue accents and translucent materials define the pair’s Off-White proposal. Utilizing the Italian luxury fashion label’s aesthetic, they created a more playful approach to the interior, but still with the same minimal aesthetic at its core.
The Polestar x Off-White collaboration is technical, layered and clean, which is what the clothing line is about. Said to have been ‘developed by technicians at a secret desert facility’, one of the apparel pieces was designed to represent the pinnacle of technical garments and haute couture in 2029.
The third collab in the series is with Moncler. The fashion brand’s ‘puffer’ aesthetic is showcased on the steering wheel and seats and in two colorways: off-white and off-black. The two interiors echo Polestar’s minimal aesthetic together with Moncler’s sophisticated yet fun approach. The puffer aesthetic is continued in the outfit, keeping it neutral yet refined for Polestar’s minimal design strategy.
“To truly extend the brands and create a lifestyle around it we decided to make not only items but also the space they inhabit,” says Wallace. “Merging the Swedish cabin with an alpine chalet shows the brands are both similar, but also where they differ. Polestar brings the clean, Scandinavian expression, whilst Moncler brings warmth and an element of French flair.”
The champagne, off-white, and charcoal colorways give the car interior a warm and luxurious feel while the details are made to reflect the high-tech nature of Polestar. As core elements, these remain the same regardless of which brand Polestar is collaborating with.
The goal of the project is to spark creativity and collaboration within the design community at large and it’s definitely got some legs as a future concept. As the trend of personalization continues to rise and more and more customers look to display their individuality, a tie-up with fashion labels makes a lot of sense for luxury car brands.