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In the past two weeks NYC has see an influx of models, designers, runway shows, and this year – cars – as fashion’s elite descended on the city for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Car-inspired designs are making their way to the runway and designers are increasingly partnering with some of the top automakers to tie the two industries together to reach consumers. Isn't this an interesting marketing trend...

Recent examples of this trend include Ford’s Fashion’s Night Out partnership with Rebecca Minkoff, Isaac Mizrahi’s new cross-country trek to create a collection inspired by the Chevy Malibu, which will be made available exclusively on LivingSocial.com and the launch of Chrysler’s 2013 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition and Luxury Edition which both bring a new level of exclusivity to this stylish, full-size sedan.

Luxury cars, particularly foreign brands, and fashion have long gone hand-in-hand with special edition releases of cars designed by high-end designers (Gucci for Fiat, Range Rover’s Evoque Victoria Beckham Edition, Lamborghini Murcielago LP-640 By Versace), and cars have traditionally been major sponsors of Fashion Week activities (Mercedes Benz of the Week itself; Lexus of the CFDA’s Eco Design Challenge), but lately it’s low-to-moderately priced American car brands who are taking fashion by storm. One theory is that it’s a way for automakers to reach the growing women’s segment, especially as studies show that women make 80 per cent of (personal) car purchase decisions in the United States (Women-Drivers.com, 2010). Another theory is auto marketers are taking notes from retailers who have carved out an entire niche of offering high-end designs at discount prices (Target, H&M, etc.) to reach the “aspirational” consumer.

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (GSP) has been working behind-the-scenes with  Chevrolet on its recent Isaac Mizrahi partnership which showcases his clothing line that’s targeted to women aged 25 to 45 and will also be promoted by way of 50 videos, created by Time Inc. studios, to be streamed across Time Warner-owned websites, as well as Facebook, over the next three months.  Let's keep an eye out for more interest marketing techniques that pair cars and fashion.

By the way, if you want to see an interesting electric car designed by a fashion designer, you can check out the car designed by Christophe Guillarmé.

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