To celebrate the launch of the third generation of its iconic ‘Cinquecento’ model – an all-electric car that has a range of up to 199 miles, Fiat has teamed up with Kartell and other two Italian companies – Bulgari and Giorgio Armani, to design a unique version of the vehicle.
“When I was asked to develop a design for the launch of the electric new 500, I accepted at once – with enormous pleasure as well as considerable emotion. Because it’s a 500 that greets visitors to the Museo Kartell to showcase the first product developed by our company in the Fifties, a ski rack, and my first car after I got my license was a 500 – a car I drove during the best years of my youth,” says Claudio Luti, President of Kartell. “This collaboration highlights the many affinities between our companies, both characterized by research, innovation, quality and creativity, and both symbols of the Made in Italy brand worldwide. For us, being part of the launch of the electric new 500 means sharing strategies and values for a new concept of designing and manufacturing.”
Creativity and innovation are the elements which inspired Kartell’s one-off 500, the perfect combination of elements coming together to give life to a real jewel of contemporary design.
“The Kartell 500 has all the character of our brand,” continues Claudio Luti. “It is inspired by the unmistakable graphic design of the Kabuki lamp which Ferruccio Laviani designed to be the leitmotif of the new car’s identity, with unique details that take the structure of the lamp and transforms it into special features of the car itself. The color blue expresses a strong identity, and is inspired by a range already used by Kartell.”
Indeed, the most characteristic elements of the car’s exterior inspired by Kartell’s Kabuki lamp, aside from its color effect, are the front grille, the rims and the mirror housing, made from recycled polycarbonate lamp reflectors and worked with the perforated structure typical of Kabuki. The exterior is characterized by a plain color scheme in which the various materials – metal, glass, rubber, plastic and fabric – all share the same tonality: the Kartell blue, derived from the Klein blue, one of the brand’s hallmark colors. The surfaces of the body are finished in mirror effect blue, obtained with an eco-chrome paint against which the logos of the two brands stand out, treated with a sand-blasted polycarbonate to give a sense of textured depth.
In the interior, the Kabuki lamp is once again the inspiration for the polycarbonate cover of the dashboard insert and the transparent applications on the seats. The contrast between the Kartell blue exterior and the luminous interior makes a strong statement, with the latter’s light colors balanced perfectly between cold and warm tones. The woven texture plastic interior features are made of 100% recycled polypropylene, as are the seats of Kartell’s latest collection, while the natural-looking fabrics are made of completely recycled polyester.
“I think this project goes beyond a mere new model or new product, it should be seen as a new form of mobility and design,” says Claudio Luti. “In brief, it’s a beautiful experience that evokes emotions.”
Kartell’s special project for the Fiat 500, together with two other standout names of the Made in Italy brand, Bulgari and Armani, supported by Altagamma, forms part of an awareness campaign aiming to improve the planet with better consumer habits. The three cars will be auctioned off, and the proceeds will go to one of the environmental organizations of Leonardo di Caprio, who has embraced the design of the new Fiat 500 and become an endorser of Fiat’s mission.