September 30, 2003

Mercedes-Benz and Giorgio Armani announce joint venture

Milan, Italy – Coinciding with the start of Milan Fashion Week, Mercedes-Benz and Giorgio Armani announced the start of a new joint cooperative venture. Their first product is a Mercedes-Benz CLK Giorgio Armani Design Car.

The idea for the collaboration arose from Mercedes-Benz’s sponsorship of the five-city world tour of the Solomon R. Guggenheim’s Giorgio Armani – A Retrospective exhibition.

Giorgio Armani, President and Chief Executive of the Armani Group, said, “Mercedes-Benz has justifiably achieved an outstanding reputation for the quality, style and elegance of its cars. It has been very interesting for me to see the great similarities between our design philosophies and our approaches to work. This leads me to believe that there will be opportunities in the future for joint projects capitalizing on our respective strengths.”

Giorgio Armani’s concept in designing the colour and material for the Mercedes-Benz CLK Giorgio Armani Design Car was to bring back that sense of handcraftsmanship that one associates with vintage cars. Giorgio Armani incorporated surprising effects by removing materials from their accustomed context, combining them in unusual ways and thereby creating something new. The result is a combination of leather (called “Cuoio”), which was fashionable in the 1940s and 1950s and is today used for only few articles, with high-technology fabrics adopted from present-day sportswear.

The entire car is held in matching nuances of a shade of sand, called “Sabbia”, that is typical of Giorgio Armani’s colour palette. Exciting contrasts are created by juxtaposed matt/high-sheen surfaces of the car’s interior and bodywork. The Mercedes-Benz CLK Giorgio Armani Design Car derives its striking appearance from this colour scheme, deliberately dispensing with superficial effects.

Following the presentation of the Mercedes-Benz CLK Giorgio Armani Design Car during Milan Fashion Week, the car will be presented in other important cities around the world. A limited edition production version will be made available for special order in the Mercedes-Benz Designo Program.

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