You might recognize the distinctive hand-stitching inside this limited-production Chrysler 300C. “It’s something that we’ve done in leather jackets before,” said fashion designer John Varvatos. The high-end men’s clothier insists on this sort of artisan detailing, in everything from suede boots to wool suits. Now, he’s sewing the same aesthetic into an elite fleet of shadowy custom-designed cruisers, outfitted with fine Italian leather, shiny black bezels and a glossy phantom black tri-coat paint job that’s as reflective as Varvatos’s own shaved dome.
Read the full article: “Designer John Varvatos Remakes the Chrysler 300 in His Own Titanium Image” [ArtInfo]
Selected outtakes from the interview:
“The reason Detroit had the best year since the economic downturn is just because they’re making great quality cars again,” said Varvatos. “Great
aesthetic with it and great attention to detail.”
For Varvatos, it’s all about the details: “I always feel that, in life, as they say, God, is in the details,” he said. “It’s about the details. My brand is about not so in your face, anyway–its more about great details.”
“Automobiles have always been something that I’ve been intrigued by from the time I was a kid,” said Varvatos. “Growing up in Detroit, it’s an easy place to be that way. There’s not a lot else there. If you’re not into cars, or baseball, whatever, I mean, they have the worst football team in history….So you kind of gotta be into cars.”
“I actually worked at Chrysler a couple of summers when I was going to college in Madison….
“Then, a couple of years ago, [Chrysler] ran an amazing ad during the Super Bowl with Eminem in it, which is the most viewed, I think, television ad ever. It was incredible and emotional about Detroit and rebuilding. They contacted me and asked if I was interested in doing the follow up. I was pretty blown away that someone would put me in that league…
“It was easy to do. Because it was Detroit. It was my family. Things are tough there and I want to help the community and everything…
“A year or so later, they asked me about doing a car for the New York auto show, which I’m like, Yeah, that sounds great. It was going to be a one-of kind of car. It was a really exciting thing because I was able to go into the design studio, look through their archives, and really, I spent a lot of time researching Chrysler and the 300 and the evolution of it. It was very similar to how I design, only it was a different medium.”
Photos courtesy of Chrysler