In a year filled with brand collaborations, auto brands delivered some of the coolest, if not the most inventive.
Straying from traditional partnerships including luxury clothes brands, BMW, Porsche and Lamborghini experimented to reach younger car buyers and audiences who will eventually be old enough to purchase cars. For Tesla and Aston Martin, liquor collaborations were a unique option. Meanwhile, Hyundai is testing the waters with sustainable fashion and a series of Spotify podcasts and playlists.
The collabs showcase these car brands’ efforts to delve deeper into the direct-to-consumer category, a strategy in response to the pandemic temporarily closing dealerships in March and April.
Here are the coolest auto brand collabs of the year:
BMW x Kith
In October, BMW partnered with streetwear retailer Kith to sell a 94-piece clothing and accessories line along with vintage BMW M3s. These modified automobiles were sold online but were distributed through BMW dealerships. Within a day, they were sold out across Europe, Japan and U.S. markets, ringing up more than $16 million.
It was BMW’s largest partnership in the streetwear category to date, says Albi Pagenstert, head of brand communications and strategy for BMW America, who adds that streetwear is becoming high fashion again, as it was in the 90s. That trend works perfectly for BMW.
“We perhaps underestimated the number of big spenders who are [Kith] fans and fans of BMW,” says Pagenstert. “People who are interested in high-fashion streetwear often have the capability to buy a brand like BMW. So that was one of the key learnings from this event.”