American Marketer


Mercedes reinterprets house codes through fashion design initiative

April 4, 2016

Mercedes' A Class Mercedes' A Class


Germany’s Mercedes-Benz is teaming with couture designer Alexis Mabille for a contest that asks participants to illustrate the automaker’s identity through fashion silhouettes.

Thirty young designers have been selected to participate in "Les Etoiles Mercedes-Benz," a competition that will select one winner to receive about $17,000 and long-term support from the automaker. Mercedes frequently links itself with the fashion industry, and this competition affords the brand the opportunity to help designers at the beginnings of their careers.

Driving fashion
From the field of 30, a jury of fashion insiders will pick 10 finalists, who will be announced on June 15. These 10 will get to make one of their silhouettes.

Mr. Mabille will be the chair of the jury, a selection made by Mercedes partly due to his appreciation and support of young designers.

Mercedes Alexis Mabille

Alexis Mabille for Mercedes-Benz

On Oct. 4 during Paris Fashion Week, the 10 will present their designs to the media at a palace within the French capital. The winner will be announced that evening.

In a statement, Beatrice Tanguy, director of fashion projects and head of marketing at Mercedes-Benz Cars, said, “It is a new very exciting project. We are particularly proud of this initiative in collaboration with Alexis. Supporting young artists is a priority for Mercedes-Benz through various new commitments such as the International Festival of Fashion and Photography Hyères particular.”

Mr. Mabille has previously aligned his decade-old couture house with more established luxury industry players.

In 2014, Switzerland’s Jaeger-LeCoultre fêted its high-jewelry collection with a fashion show organized by French couturier Alexis Mabille.

The fashion show served to highlight Jaeger-LeCoultre wristwatches as high-fashion-approved accessories rather than time telling tools. Debuting the 2014 high-jewelry pieces in a creative way underscored the similarities between couture designs and timepieces (see story).