The dark side of the vroom.
The MINI Countryman designed by Calvin Klein.
When we asked ck to create unqiue one-off model for a car auction, the car that was created was the epitome of fashionably understated, and nobody could take their eyes off it. Check out the MINI Countryman designed by Calvin Klein.
It all began in 1993, with the first Life Ball in Vienna, Austria. The dazzling AIDS-fundraiser, which would run for 26 years, until 2019, was always a stage for extravagance and pizzazz, all for a good cause. We began donating specially designed cars to the event in 2001. These vehicles were always created by specially selected designers and were auctioned off, with proceeds going to AIDS research.
In 2010, Calvin Klein Collection's award-winning Women's Creative Director, Francisco Costa was tasked with creating one such special car for Europe’s biggest AIDS charity event, which also featured two further MINIs designed by fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg and New York-based designer Kenneth Cole. The Brazilian Costa had been known for his minimalistic and reserved style, which stood in stark contrast to the vibrancy and revealing garments that the public usually associated with Brazil. This is perhaps because of the great influence of the Rio Carnival. But Costa was more influence by the simple, pure and organic style from other parts of his homeland.
When it came to designing a special production MINI Countryman, it was no surprise that instead of a flamboyant fancy car, he designed a crossover model that was restrained, but still could dominate any showroom it showed up in. Costa’s less is more approach was thus completely appropriate for MINI, even though the Countryman was still a new crossover model at the time.
The final design, the Black Edition, revealed a car featuring a matte black finish all over, with Calvin Klein Collection lettering on both front doors in reflective black hard rubber. Not much else needs to be said about the custom-made car, its appearance speaks for itself. And in the end, it proved successful too, earning 40,000 Euro for AIDS research during the charity gala auction. Chapeau.
The MINI One-Off Series
Our history is enriched by a long list of one-off cars. Whether they were created for movies, noble causes, or designed by celebrities to show the world the many faces of MINI’s personality, we love them all equally. That is why we wanted to look back at these cars, and share their unique stories.