American Marketer


Rolls-Royce boasts Karl Lagerfeld photography via exhibit

November 20, 2012


British automaker Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is gaining visibility through a new exhibit in its “Icons of Art” series featuring photographs by Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld.

The exhibit titled “A Different View” portrays the design elements of Rolls-Royce and is on display at the Rolls-Royce headquarters in Goodwood, West Sussex, England. The exhibit focuses on Mr. Lagerfeld’s abstract take on the textures, surfaces and shapes in the vehicles.

“Mr. Lagerfeld is a high-profile customer of our brand who is well known,” said Andrew Ball, corporate communications manager at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Goodwood, West Sussex, England. “He approached us and we were delighted to exhibit his photographs of his own car.

“There are nice parallels between the close-ups in the photographs and our brand’s attention to detail,” he said. “I think his photographs and Rolls-Royce complement each other beautifully.”

Attention to detail
There are 14 black-and-white photographs by Mr. Lagerfeld featured in the exhibit.

The promotional photograph for the exhibit is a shot of the side mirror view of Mr. Lagerfeld's vehicle which shows a convertible with its top down.

Mr. Lagerfeld's photograph

One of the photographs shows a close-up of shiny door handles and the reflection of trees in the background.

Mr. Lagerfeld's photograph

Another shows two front grills facing each other to resemble a reflection.

Mr. Lagerfeld's photograph

Other photographs capture more abstract details of the vehicles.

Mr. Lagerfeld's photograph

These photographs and the collaboration with Mr. Lagerfeld could help bolster Rolls-Royce’s visibility.

“Anyone who spends $200,000-300,000 for a vehicle is making a statement about his or her position in life,” said Al Ries, chairman of Ries & Ries, Roswell, GA. “Anyone who spends thousands of dollars for fashion products is making a similar statement.

“Both Rolls-Royce and Karl Lagerfeld benefit from the publicity generated by their association."

Art exhibits

Earlier this year, the automaker worked with other artists in its Icons of Art series. This effort includes private talks with artists about their creations.

Other artists featured in the series include John Zinsser, Marie-Jo Lafontaine and Isaac Julien.

Icons of Art will end in December at Art Basel Miami.

In addition, Rolls-Royce recently flaunted its role in the Art Deco movement through a bespoke collection and a set of three art prints that was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show.

The automaker showed Art Deco-inspired Phantom Saloon, Phantom Drophead Coupé and Ghost vehicles at the auto show and is making an exclusive collection inspired by these models available for purchase to its clients (see story).

“Popular automobile brands like Toyota, Chevrolet and Ford get a lot of street visibility for their brands, but Rolls-Royce does not,” Mr. Ries said. “Rolls-Royce needs to create ways to remind prospects about the brand."

Final take

Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York