When you think of a fashion icon, most people conjure up images of those who changed the style of the game, starting their own trends that seemed silly but cool at the time. The likes of Audrey Hepburn, Princess Diana, David Bowie, The Prince, Madonna, and Lady Gaga (did you know her “meat dress” is kept and exhibited in Las Vegas?) — those magazines for which you buy those tabloid crap to see what cool outfit they’ll venture into in the next time.
It seems like it’s always been that way in the industry, obsessed with the “next new thing” and staying on trend. This installation has mostly remained, but the popular receptacles we are looking forward to have changed. Besides singers and movie stars like Harry Styles and Zendaya, social media influencers are fueling their rise as fashion gurus as well.
And although this transformation has its pros and cons, it did one important thing – it helped restore potency to the masses. Now, it obviously takes a combination of skills and mindset to become a full-time influencer, but given how quickly it can go viral or gain followers (and lose them), it reinforces the idea that anyone can influence fashion, a privilege formerly exclusive to the stars.
In the world of fashion and cars, this idea of accessibility isn’t new. Indeed, this has been Fiat’s strategy since the launch of its new 500 in the 1950s, whose combination of style and affordability has revolutionized not only the auto industry but fashion as well. Its historical past has been synonymous with famous Italian designers (Armani, Gucci, Bvlgari, etc.), and recently, the Fiat 500 F-Series was shown at the MoMa (Museum of Modern Art) in New York in celebration of its 60th birthday.
Fiat created the ultimate city car that is associated with luxury brands but is available at a lower cost so that everyone can take part in the madness of these cars. This wonderful association has continued throughout the history of the car. In 2011, Fiat teamed up with Gucci to release limited edition models of the Fiat 500 and Cabrio. Customized by Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini in partnership with Fiat’s Centro Stile, it’s black and white with satin chrome detailing and a leather interior that lends a modern twist to its classic look.
“In the 1950s, the Fiat 500 revolutionized style when it debuted on the road. It quickly became the indispensable car of its era. Traveling in style has also been at the heart of Gucci since Guccio Gucci founded his company as a producer of leather pants, suitcases and briefcases. Hand in 1921. So, when Lapo Elkann proposed the idea for this collaboration, it struck me as the perfect opportunity to create a new fashionable travel manifesto for Gucci’s 90th anniversary,” said Frida Giannini.
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The new 500 has also won more than 20 international awards, including City Car of the Year at the 2022 GQ Car Awards in 2019 and the 2022 Electric Vehicle in the Netherlands which is one of the best-selling cars in Europe. It made another splash in 2017 during London Fashion Week when Fiat released a car without a sticker during the Lost the Label campaign.
Most recently, when they unveiled the 500 Electric, Fiat teamed up with famous Italian design houses, Armani, Bulgari and Kartel, to create one-off special editions, which championed custom design and sustainability. The three cars were then auctioned off for charity, complete with phrases like gold powder, a gem-encrusted steering wheel, reflective panels and a chevron mini chassis.
The brand has cleverly reinvented itself over the decades, forging strategic partnerships with premium fashion designers and staying up to date with every turn of the trend. The recent launch of the 500 electric did the same thing, offering a stylish, eco-friendly option at a modest price. And once again, Fiat helps make fashion trends accessible to everyone.
For more on the Fiat 500, see here.