A New Way of Style: Gucci Edition Cars April 19 2022
It was in the early years of the 1970s that the American Motors Corporation decided to take on a new marketing approach that involved asking clothing designers to make designer editions of various car models the company produced. For the 1972 model year, AMC forged partnerships with various designers such as Pierre Cardin (which comes as no surprise since Cardin was open to licensing his name for just about anything), Levi’s,
For this model year Gucci designed the “Sportabout” Hornet station wagon to feature the company’s signature colors (green, red, and beige) on the seats and door handles. The car’s exterior was often painted white, tan, or a shade of green. In 1972 over 2,500 Gucci Edition Hornets were sold, with a few hundred less sold in 1973. The Gucci Hornet inspired the Lincoln car brand to do the same sort of thing on versions of their Mark IV luxury car—for their collaborations, Lincoln chose to work with designers like Cartier, Emilio Pucci, and Givenchy (I think I would gladly take a car designed by any of them, wouldn’t you?). Lincoln reportedly turned down Aldo Gucci’s proposal for a Gucci-designed Mark IV, so he got in touch with General Motors and partnered with International Automotive Design Incorporated (I.A.D.) in 1977 to begin designing Gucci editions of the Cadillac Seville out of their Miami branch.
Although there was a choice of a white, brown, or black exterior to the Gucci Seville’s, all interiors were made of a camel-colored leather. The famous Gucci pattern was installed wherever possible on the cars—headliners, headrests, armrests, onto the hoods and trunks. Any Cadillac logos were removed and replaced by 24-karat gold GG emblems. Most importantly perhaps (to a fashion-lover-but-not-car-lover like myself, at least), a fitted set of Gucci luggage came with the car, snugly stowed away in the trunk.
Gucci and I.A.D. continued to design the Limited Edition Seville’s through 1984, although they steadily produced fewer each year. In 2012 Gucci returned to the scene, though, taking on designing a Fiat 500 (with a black or white exterior color, hard-top, or soft-top) for the fashion brand’s 90th anniversary. The signature green and red stripes ran around the exterior of the car and the Gucci label was everywhere. (The more I look at them the more I want one—although I don’t think it comes with the luggage in the trunk like the Seville did.)
So here’s one more place to browse through while looking for those great vintage finds—used car lots! And check out any Fiats you see on the road or in the parking lot for those famous stripes…
Written by Heather Cox for Rice and Beans Vintage.