Heck, the times are ripe for a hippie resurgence. Let's see, what were the ingredients in the 1960s? War: check. Social unrest and record numbers of politically aware youth: check. A huge, pivotal election in the U.S.: check. To capture the spirit of the times, and show that the Volkswagen design ethic is a timeless one, VW and Barneys creative director Simon Doonan have teamed up to commission a unique New Beetle painted in unique '60s iconography by New York artist John-Paul Philippe.
If the economy goes any further south, some of us may find ourselves living out of the back of a communal-owned VW Camper Van, driving to San Fran, and wearing flowers in our hair. VW was THE symbol of the hippie mobility, and while Barneys New York shoppers might seem to be light-years from the hemp-clothed, less-is-more hippie ethos, at least they can pretend and get a little dose of feel-good from that irresistible VW Beetle charm.
Doonan's special New Beetle will be featured in all of Barneys marketing materials including store windows, shopping bags, holiday mailers, and gift cards. And appealing perhaps to the hippie-turned-tycoon, the Barneys flagship Manhattan store will be featuring limited-edition Antique Jewel Box sterling silver cuff links in the shape of '74 VW Beetles. Surely, the framers of the Port Huron Statement are turning in their graves.
But VW is actually doing something cool--and green--in the process; through money raised in a raffle for this uniquely decorated New Beetle (after it is done ferrying Doonan during New York's fashion week), VW will be donating all raffle ticket proceeds (at a suggested $100 a pop) to the Carbon Fund. Thus far, VW and the Carbon Fund have planted 278,496 trees in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, accounting for 413,609 tons of carbon that the Volkswagen community has offset to date.--Colin Mathews
creative commons. flickr.com: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevlar/1204728051/Enlarge Photo
creative commons, flickr.com: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephen_rees/520804579/Enlarge Photo