Automakers partnering with fashion designers is certainly nothing new, but the new 2013 Chrysler 300C John Varvatos editions are a rare example of how to handle the partnership correctly.
Based on the Chrysler 300C flagship sedan, the new car will come in two iterations: the 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition and Luxury Edition. Each offers its own unique blend of design aspects and interior accouterments, and will make their entrance at dealerships later this year. Fashionably late, we might add.
The 300C Varvatos is the latest in a storied history of automakers attempting to insert themselves into the world of fashion. This is, after all, Fashion Week in New York, with luxury marques like Lexus sponsoring design contests and Mercedes-Benz even running a website dedicated to their runway news, MBFashionWeek.com. It’s a chance to associate your brand with glitz, glamour and weird hairstyles.
Chrysler steered clear of all that, because while this is a partnership with one of the hottest fashion designers today, it also avoids the pretension and ostentatiousness of a SoHo loft party. Varvatos is a brand that basically uses two colors: black and very very very very dark brown, which fits perfectly with the blue-collar luxury image that Chrysler is shooting for. The style is simple yet refined, going the extra mile without thirsting for the cameras.
This is a stark departure from the traditional automaker-designer partnership, which too often mocks rather than enhances the product. The garish pink Cadillacs wearing Mary Kay badges are not to be taken seriously. Ferrari figured they could make an easy buck on the FF by adding Neiman Marcus badges and paint. They were right, but that doesn’t mean they’re not superfluous.
Thankfully, there is more to the 300C Varvatos than paint and badges. Both editions compliment and improve the car without taking away from it – the Varvatos Limited Edition with tri-color paint and gorgeous 20-inch alloy wheels, the Varvatos Luxury with premium Foligno leather and hand-sanded wood materials.
They look good, they fit the image of both brands, and they keep it simple while doubling down on swagger. It takes what the 300C does well and improves it. After all, what good is a special edition Ferrari that isn’t any faster?
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John Varvatos Official Site
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