Okay, not a great analogy, but you get the point. For decades now automakers and apparel brands have looked to capture that combined appeal with special edition versions of just about everything; from everyday compacts to exclusive supercars. Here’s a list, in no particular order, of some of the most recent — though not necessarily memorable — fashion-inspired special edition automobiles.
Volkswagen Beetle Denim
While not tied to a specific clothing brand, this denim edition pays homage to everyone’s favorite closet staple in a way only a Volkswagen Beetle could get away with. Available in both coupe and convertible, depending on where you live, the Beetle Denim is decked out in denim-look fabric — not to mention a similarly styled soft top on convertible models — and finished with red tabs on the seats like a certain brand’s infamous pants. Production was limited to a few thousand units. (A special shoutout goes to the Jeans Beetle and Jeep Renegade Levi’s Edition of the 1970s, two models that pioneered the pants-to-driveway movement.)
Bugatti Veyron Fbg par Hermès
For those in the market for something a little more exclusive — not to mention expensive — than something inspired by trousers, there’s this very unique version of the Veyron. Created in collaboration with a company that makes very expensive jeans, as well as a fistfull of other high-priced designer goods, the Veyron Fbg par Hermès was named for the label’s flagship store on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris, and is finished with an assortment of Hermès accents. Only eight units were produced.
Chrysler 300C by John Varvatos
With its “Imported From Detroit” media campaign well underway, Chrysler teamed up with local designer John Varvatos back in 2013 for a unique version of its flagship sedan. Only one problem: The 300C was imported from Canada. Unique interior and exterior detailing helped set the John Varvatos edition of the car apart from the rest of its Canadian-made counterparts. Production was limited to just a few thousand examples over its two-year run.
Of all the special edition vehicles on this list, none has made its exclusivity known quite as boldly as the Jeremy Scott-ified version of this tiny two-seater. And no, it’s not a concept. That means you, too, could have your very own Smart ForTwo replete with massive wings mounted to the back. Smart never disclosed how many versions of the winged ride it planned to build, though it did say it would be “an extremely limited special edition.” We should all be thankful for that.
Range Rover Evoque Special Edition With Victoria Beckham
This exclusive Evoque was launched three years after Victoria Beckham landed the glorified gig as “creative design director” with Land Rover, and brought with it a host of upgrades that helped set it apart. Beckham was tasked with helping pick some of the finishes found both inside and out, and landed on genuine rose gold accents on the wheels, grille and dashboard, and supple tan leather that stands in stark contrast to the matte grey exterior. Production of the two-door Evoque was limited to just 200 units.
Life Ball MINIs
Every car on this list is a genuine production vehicle. We made an exception for the inclusion of these designer edition MINIs because they’re just so damn cool. Built in support of the Life Ball, an annual charity event in Vienna, Austria, supporting people with HIV or AIDS, these MINIs have been designed by the likes of Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole and Roberto Cavalli. Each of the one-off cars has been auctioned off in support of AIDS LIFE.
Fiat 500 by Gucci
The Gucci edition of this quintessential Italian compact may not scream for attention in quite the same way as the Jeremy Scott Smart ForTwo, but it’s a pretty close second. First launched in 2011, the Fiat 500 by Gucci was available in both coupe and cabriolet bodystyles. It sported Gucci’s famed green and red stripes both inside and out. Clothing brand Diesel also worked with Fiat to create a unique version of the 500, though it was only sold in Europe for the 2008 and 2009 model years.
Lamborghini Murciélago LP-640 by Versace
Versace has had its name on a handful of special edition vehicles over the years, but none have combined speed and sophistication quite like this Lambo. Built in both coupe and roadster forms of the Murciélago, this Versace edition added a ton of unique finishes both inside and out, and included a very limited luggage set — because, you know, there’s a ton of room for luggage in a Lamborghini.
Scion xB 686 Parklan Edition
Toyota’s failed sub-brand was no stranger to special editions, with no shortage of “Release Series” versions of most of the eight vehicles to wear the Scion badge during during its 13-year history. To mark the demise of the boxy xB, Scion teamed up with winter sports brand 686 Technical Apparel to create a one-of-a-kind — actually, the plan called for 686 examples to be built — version of the Kia Soul-like compact. The special edition xB was painted metallic brown and featured camouflage seat fabric inside.
Maserati Interiors by Ermenegildo Zegna
Okay, so this isn’t exactly a special edition, but that doesn’t make it any less special. Silk seating inserts and unique detailing make these cabins stand out from the rest of the Maserati models out there, including “natural fibre Mulberry Silk seating inserts” — in other words, some very soft and luxurious fabric. As of today, the trim package can be added to Ghibli, Levante and Quattroporte models.
Honorable Mentions: Mercury Villager Nautica Special Edition; Jeep Grand Cherokee Orvis Edition; Ford Explorer, Expedition and Excursion finished in Eddie Bauer trim; and L.L. Bean editions of the Subaru Outback and Forester.