In the first initiative of its kind, Project Geländewagen saw Mercedes-Benz collaborate with the polymath artist, architect, creative director and fashion designer, Virgil Abloh, to create a unique design piece from the iconic Mercedes-Benz G-Class. 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 main perspective of this project was to create a whole new form and rebuild the luxury landscape anew. Coming in hand is the most popular & smooth craftsmanship of the world’s first car manufacturers, Wagener and Abloh’s creation embodies Mercedes-Benz’ innate understanding of the extraordinary and a bold vision for the future of luxury design.
Virgil Abloh exclaimed about the project with utmost grace saying that, “My ultimate goal in this project with Mercedes-Benz is inspiring young artists, engineers, and designers to question the status quo, in addition to experimenting with my own design abilities. Mercedes-Benz is a brand that stands for luxury and exceptional performance. Truly a perfect chassis to interject modern artists’ ideas of what the future can be stylistically.”
The sale of this vision striking design 1:3 piece replica raised 160,000 USD (Rs. 1.17 crore), with all proceeds going to the Virgil Abloh – ‘Post-Modern’ Scholarship Fund to generally support fashion students of academic promise of Black, African American, or African descent.
The Vice President Marketing at the Mercedes-Benz AG Bettina Fetzer, says that, “Creativity drives Mercedes-Benz and as a global luxury brand, we are aware of and take the responsibility of our voice. We all felt it was crucial to support the creative community during this difficult time, and are delighted to raise funds for Virgil’s ‘Post-Modern’ Scholarship, donating all proceeds to an important cause that inspires the next generation.”
Part reality and part fantasy, the project, which launched in September this year, used the Mercedes-Benz G-Class to explore ways of disrupting future perceptions of luxury and the result is an exclusive manifestation of the G-Class which is been outrun for the very first time. The home-scale model, created exclusively for the charity auction, allows the winner to own this unique design piece and be personally introduced to the design concepts that inspired by Wagener and Abloh.
The Post-Modern Scholarship Fund is basically managed in partnership with the “Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF), the foremost fashion-oriented education and workforce development nonprofit in the U.S.”
So, Virgil Abloh with the support of his partners Evian, Farfetch, Louis Vuitton, and New Guards
Group and Nike, has committed $1 million to support scholarships and career opportunities for Black students across the country and outside. The agenda behind this Fund is to foster equity and inclusion within the fashion industry by providing scholarships to students of academic promise of Black, African-American, or African descent. The FSF annual scholarship competition awards scholarships on a merit basis to undergraduate students who successfully complete a case study competition. The FSF also provides students with several career opportunities, coveted internships, professional developmental events, mentorships and access to the industry’s most experienced and influential companies and leaders.
The Sotheby’s has been gathering down collectors with world class creations of art since 1744, Sotheby’s became the first international auction house initiated when it expanded from London to New York. (1955). Today, Sotheby’s has a worldwide network of 80 offices in 40 countries and propounds auctions in 10 different salesrooms. Sotheby’s offers collectors the resources of Sotheby’s Financial Services, the world’s only full-service art financing company, as well as Advisory services for collectors, corporations, museums, artists, estates and foundations.
Throughout the whole Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated Auction, Wagener and Abloh’s supervision scattered beyond the Project Geländewagen blueprint, altogether three artworks were selected by each design visionary which were specifically on view by Sotheby’s York Avenue headquarters in New York between 26th September and 1st October. The pure lines and bold aesthetics that inform Gorden Wagener’s designs at Mercedes-Benz are reflected in his edit of non-representational imagery, including Kenneth Noland’s Ember (1960), Helen Frankenthaler’s Pass (1969) and Gerhard Richter’s 14.2.88 (1988).
With addition to this, Virgil meanwhile took the chance to highlight the seminal African American artists starring in the grand auction.
He actually picked them out himself which included: Barkley L. Hendricks portrait Latin from Manhattan the Bronx Actually (1980), Kerry James Marshall’s & 39; The Wonderful One& 39; (1986) and Untitled Anxious Red Drawing by Rashid Johnson (2020).
Wagener says, “I am honored to be the co-curator for Sotheby’s esteemed auction this year alongside Virgil. Mercedes-Benz has always been passionate about inspiring creativity, and the idea behind Project Geländewagen was to investigate new definitions of luxury and design. Given the times we are living in, we felt compelled to give back and do something to help shape the future, which is what this project was all about.”
“Now more than ever those of us who have voices and have opened doors need to keep them open, and make sure that the conversation includes the youth” Virgil Abloh adds. “This is what we’re working to achieve through my Post Modern Scholarship fund. Everything that I’ve done in my career has been to pave the way for the next generation, and now with the help of Mercedes-Benz we’re able to take that one step further.” “We were thrilled to present the Mercedes-Benz Project Geländewagen blueprint as a
Highlight of our Contemporary Curated auction in New York.” Says Charlotte Van Dercook, Head of Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated auctions in New York. “This unique piece, which achieved 160,000 USD, marked the first collaboration between Virgil Abloh and Gorden Wagener, who we had the honor of working with as this season’s co-curators. It was a privilege to have these two creative forces participate in our sale, and to raise funds for the Virgil Ablogh ‘Post-Modern’ Scholarship Fund.”
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