Mercedes-Benz is no stranger to partnerships with the fashion industry. In some cases, like their capsule collection with A$AP Rocky’s AWGE brand, the collab helps extend their brand’s influence in a non-automotive direction. Other times, the result is a jaw-dropping take on an iconic vehicle (Virgil Abloh’s otherworldly offroad Maybach comes to mind).
But even the most envelope-pushing Mercedes partnerships and customizations keep things grounded in real-world practicality and brand recognizability: it’s at least plausible that these creations could become more than a one-off if the German automaker wanted.
Not so with their Moncler partnership. Dubbed “Project Gravity” for now, the collab is a sculpture rather than a concept car, drawing comparisons with everything from the Apollo lunar command module to handbags. It’s a playful, totally un-Mercedes take on a Mercedes that combines the original G-Wagon’s form with Moncler’s quintessential puffer jacket look. The exaggerated balloon tires, vehicle-splitting zipper, and oversized pickup bed mark a radical departure from the almost clinically-straight lines of the G-Wagon. The body even boasts a sumptuous patina we’d like to see offered as a standard finish.
Those who worry that Mercedes has committed sacrilege need not fear: no G-Wagons were harmed in the making of Project Gravity. The artists formed their sculpture using a scan of the G-Wagon bodyshell. Project Gravity makes its full debut on February 20th as part of Moncler Genius’ ‘The Art of Genius’ show at London Fashion Week.