Following last year’s cooperation which saw the iconic Mercedes-Benz G Class be reimagined, Virgil Abloh is back to write a second chapter into the storied history of Mercedes-Benz – this time with Mercedes-Maybach. The polymath artist, architect, creative director and fashion designer will collaborate with Mercedes-Benz Chief Design Officer, Gorden Wagener to create an electric show car, which will be unveiled on 1 December 2021 coinciding with Art Basel Miami Beach. Unlike anything previously seen from Mercedes-Benz, the show car exemplifies the possibility of design that is untethered by existing blueprints, or production specifications.
Project MAYBACH coincides with 100 years since Karl Maybach and his father Wilhelm debuted the first Maybach W 3 with the ambition of presenting the “best of the best”, setting the wheels in motion for Mercedes-Maybach to become one of the most unique and exclusive automotive brands today. Staying true to that original ambition Mercedes-Maybach has remained a vehicle for creative exploration. Inspiring everyone from royalty and world leaders to dreamers, connoisseurs, and luminaries alike to look beyond the present and discover new roads of luxury design. Today, with Abloh, that journey sees the collaborative electric show car acting as an emblem for a new era of discovery.
With a background in civil engineering and architecture, Abloh’s rarefied approach to luxury design strikes the perfect balance between form and function. Combined with Wagener’s innate understanding of luxury automobile design, the dynamic duo will push the boundaries of function, style and collaborative creativity. The resulting show car will steer the myth of the Maybach into the centre of the cultural zeitgeist.
“Today, Mercedes-Maybach is a brand that resonates beyond automotive and has come to symbolize status, innovation and value across industries and generations” says Bettina Fetzer, Vice President Communications & Marketing Mercedes-Benz AG. “A combination of the technical perfection of Mercedes-Benz, and the aspirational exclusivity of Maybach, Mercedes-Maybach offers a highly unique experience for our most discerning customers. We are excited to inspire both existing and new audiences to re-think what they thought they knew about this iconic brand, with our trusted partner, Virgil Abloh.”
“The Maybach legacy celebrates exploration, pushing creativity to new places, living outside of the status quo. In this next phase we’re embracing these ideals and bringing the Mercedes Maybach heritage into the future, inviting the next generation to join in revering this icon,” says Virgil Abloh. “Together we’re entering a new age of discovery.”
“With Project MAYBACH we define the next level of luxury” says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Mercedes-Benz AG. “After 100 years, we transform the brand into a luxury electric future. Together with Virgil, we are writing a new rule book for Mercedes-Maybach.”
About Virgil Abloh
Born in Rockford, Illinois, Virgil Abloh is an artist, architect, engineer, creative director, and fashion designer. After earning a degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he completed a master’s degree in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago. At IIT, while studying a design curriculum devised by Mies van der Rohe, Abloh began to craft the principles of his art practice. The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presented a major traveling survey of Abloh’s work in summer 2019 – one of the highest attended exhibitions in the museum’s history. Currently, Abloh is the Chief Creative Director and founder of Off-White and Men’s Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton.
About Gorden Wagener
Born in Essen, Gorden Wagener is the Chief Design Officer Daimler Group and Chief Design Officer Mercedes‑Benz – a position he has held since 2016. After studying Industrial Design at the University of Essen, he honed his skills in Transportation Design at London’s Royal College of Art. He joined Mercedes-Benz over two decades ago. In 2008 he was made Director of Daimler AG´s Design unit. All current models of the Daimler Group vehicle portfolio bear Wagener’s signature, from all Mercedes-Benz passenger and commercial vehicles to all truck and bus brands forming today’s Daimler Trucks AG. His ground-breaking work has earned him a number of accolades including an honorary professorship at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest (2009) and an honorary doctorate at Sofia Technical University (2010).