The last stage of the European fashion show tour that took the new 500 Collezione to major cities – from Milan and London, to Berlin, Paris and Madrid, each one an international capital of fashion, style and art – ended yesterday. The 500 Collezione – in two body versions, hatchback and convertible – that modelled on these catwalks is the most recent celebration of the iconic Fiat which for over 60 years has continued to re-invent itself while remaining true to its values over time.
The European tour of 500 Collezione kicked off on April 18 in Milan, Italy’s most fashionable and international city, during the Milan Furniture Fair, one of the most exciting and crowded weeks of the year. The event was also the national preview of this Italian masterpiece, which not unlike a true film star graced the red carpet of the Hotel Magna Pars Suites, a stone’s throw away from the old Porta Genova railway station and the lively Via Tortona -the nerve centre of fashion and design – for journalists, photographers, influencers and fans to see. Sporting a cool and stylish Spring-evoking two-tone livery, aptly named “Primavera”, the 500 Collezione showed off its charming style details, like the bright chrome-plated accents on the front bumper, bonnet and mirror caps, which are a modern take on some of the most distinctive traits of its forerunner, for the fans of Italian design.
Elegance and temperament, exclusivity and tradition. The same ingredients characterised the second stage of the tour in London, the city that outside Italy is home to the most 500s. The UK is the second market in terms of size in the EMEA Region. For the occasion, the new 500 Collezione modelled in front of the sophisticated Ice Tank Studio, in bustling Covent Garden, where passers-by stopped to admire it and take photos. There could be no better stage for this new interpretation of the global icon that has been at home here since the Swinging Sixties when London led the world’s fashion and Piccadilly Circus was the capital of new social trends, music and art. Today like yesterday, Fiat 500 was there with its electrifying freedom and light-heartedness. This is one of the reasons for the out-and-out love of Londoners, who go mad for this city car.
After Milan and London, the 500 Collezione tour headed to Berlin, the metropolis that never sleeps, where getting lost in trendy venues, majestic monuments, unique art museums and techno temples is easy. The new special edition was the star of an exclusive event held in the ultra-modern Bridge Studios, on Seestraßeninsel in Westhafen, a beautiful location at the waterfront on a peninsula in the heart of Berlin, where the public learned more about the exciting equipment that makes the car a real technological gem.
For instance, in terms of connectivity, the 500 Collezione offers optional Uconnect 7″ HD LIVE radio with integrated Apple CarPlayTM and Android AutoTM functions and the navigator with Tom Tom maps. Also available as optional equipment are a 7-inch TFT display, which is the largest in its category, and the Beats Audio Hi-Fi system for music lovers.
Guests to the modern Bridge Studios also admired a selection Fiat 500 Mirror, Fiat 500 Riva, Abarth 695 Rivale and Abarth 695 XSR Yamaha representing only some of the 30 special editions based on the Fiat and Abarth models, which have been introduced over the past 11 years. Not by chance, Fiat 500 has always been a trendsetter which while remaining true to itself has been re-interpreted over time linking its name to iconic brands from the worlds of fashion, luxury yachts, arts and sports, to name a few, in an array of special editions created to explore unusual territories for a city-car. The 30th special edition is the new 500 Collezione and follows in the wake of the 500-60esimo and Anniversario launched to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the iconic Fiat last year.
Of course, the exciting 500 Collezione tour stopped in Paris, one of the most important world fashion capitals. So, the venue for the fourth stage of the tour was the beautiful La Maison in Issy les Moulineaux, an architecture gem set on a romantic street along the river Seine, where the new special edition modelled on one of the most exclusive fashion shows. It was the perfect location in Europe’s most elegant city, which is home to most celebrated haute couture fashion labels. The elegant chrome-plated cursive “Collezione” badge on the tailgate of the new 500 Collezione stands out not unlike a trendy logo on a high-fashion garment. Many elements of the car make explicit reference to the worlds of fashion and design, like the cool, Spring-evoking new liveries, paired with standard 16-inch alloy rims. The palette features the new two-tone (white and grey) “Primavera” and two-tone (white and green) “Acquamarina” paintwork, in addition to Taormina Ivory, as an alternative to Gelato White and “Blu dipinto di Blu” Blue, all embellished with a trademark grey/white/grey all-around beauty line. The same restrained elegance is found inside with original combinations, like the dashboard – white for the two-tone “Primavera”, green for the two-tone “Acquamarina” or matching the body paintwork for the other colours. Naturally, the fresh, fashion-inspired colour theme continues inside with two-tone striped grey seats, ivory top and embroidered 500 logo and the “Collezione” logo on the mats).
After Milan, London, Berlin and Paris, the European tour of 500 Collezione ended yesterday in Madrid, at the imposing Only You Hotel Atocha, in the heart of the art and culture of the Spanish capital, close to the most important museums and the most stylish boutiques in town. Welcoming, bright and with a spectacular courtyard, the location is the perfect blend of traditional Madrid architecture and cutting-edge design, a sophisticated reference to old and new. The same attitude is found in the 500 Collezione which is unmistakably 500 because it encloses all the features of one of the most celebrated Italian icons in the world and at the same time projects this symbol of Italian creativity in the world. The streets of Madrid also feature in the “New 500 Collezione, Inspired by itself”advertisement that is accompanying the international launch of the new special edition. Produced by the Leo Burnett creative agency and directed by Laszlo Kadar, the 500 Collezione appears as a top model accustomed to starring on the most famous runways worldwide. We see the car with its smart two-tone livery fitted out with smartphones as modern-day replacements for the now obsolete film cameras driven by a beautiful young model having activated the selfie function. Perfectly at ease as a diva, the 500 Collezione gradually turns into the director of the advertisement, homing in on its own style details and finally decides that the final shot can forgo the young woman all together because the car is the real model of the show. Not by chance, this is the perfect role for an authentic Italian masterpiece that has influenced fashion, society and habits for decades. In other words, “forever cult, forever 500”.
Launched in 1957 and asserted over the years as the symbol of mass motorisation in Italy, Fiat 500 was reborn in 2007 when the new model, which would soon become a global phenomenon, made its debut. This is demonstrated by over two million cars made sold in over 100 countries worldwide. Over 80% of sales are out of Italy. Endorsing this success, the 500* has been the best-seller in its segment in Europe since 2013. Again, in the first four months of 2018, the 500 was the market leader in nine countries (UK, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal, Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia) and is in the top three in seven others (Italy, Germany, France, Sweden, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria). Success is unstoppable and also in the first four months of 2018, in its 11th year, 500* broke its own record with over 74,000 cars sold in Europe.
* Fiat 500 and Abarth 500 versions in total.
Turin, 25 May 2018