February 28, 2013

Brands! Zombie Silver Cross Want Aston Martin's Brands!


To be fair, Silver Cross has been bankrupted and brought back to life far fewer times than Aston Martin has. But of the two historically British luxury vehicle brands, the one most in need of a leg up is Silver Cross. And that's exactly what it's going for with the Silver Cross Surf - Aston Martin Edition, a cross-marketing colabo that really must be seen as a publicity coup for the strollermaker whose claim to heritage fame rests entirely on obsolete, Mary Poppins-era prams.

The Aston Martin Edition is based on Silver Cross's Surf Elevation, the firm's topline, modern stroller, only it features aluminum alloy wheels and trim, and upgraded fabrics. But we're not talking Wilton carpets and matched-grain Connolly hides here: it's just Alcantara [a suede-like miracle polyester] and "performance" fabric, which, mhmm.

All this, with a limited edition run of 800 units, sold only at Harrod's, and not available for ordering until some time in April. Yours [and, presumably, oy, Wills' & Kate's] for just £2,000, nearly four times the price of the regular Surf Elevation.

The benefit to Silver Cross is obvious, I guess. But the real question is WHY THE HELL IS A--, er, what is the value proposition for Aston Martin? Is it just money? Will they collaborate with basically anyone for a million pounds? They've got a powerful reputation for handbuilt, high-performance cars; why would they risk diluting that with potentially mutant products?


Oh, wait, that's right. This is the Aston Martin who went from making a Jackrabbit Slim's-style sofa from a DB6 boot to licensing an entire collection of ill-advised office furniture designed, apparently, by tracing Aston's once-distinctively shaped grille. [Which has been hilariously jacked by the Ford Focus.] Aston Martin: for those with more money than taste. Wait, NO.

Because they did also do the limited edition Aston Martin One-77 Cycle, a £39,000 supercycle from F1 component spinoff Factor Bikes. Though Factor's One-77 shares a name with Aston's own sold-out supercar, the bike is, ironically, the only available version right now of Factor's groundbreaking 001 racing/training cycle from 2009. Which cost half as much as the Aston version.

But the most WTF example of Aston Martin's colabo strategy is also probably the most illuminating for the Silver Cross deal. I'm talking about, of course, the Aston Martin Cygnet. The £31,000 rebadged Toyota/Scion iQ, which Aston introduced in 2011.

I confess, I totally love the Cygnet and every ridiculous thing about it. I love the story of its launch, where it was only going to be sold as a city-optimized accessory to owners of "real" Aston Martins. I love the brazenness with which the company dropped the Cygnet as-is, into their line-up in order to instantly comply with the EU's 2012 fleet emissions restrictions. But most of all, I love the idea of taking a little tin can like the iQ and maxing it out with beautiful workmanship and materials. Even if they can't actually make it, and no one actually buys them anyway.

Since the moment I actually bought a Scion [the OG xB] a year ago, I've been plotting ways to Cygnet it up. Not just leather and wool, but all the surfaces and fixtures. Though for brand DNA reasons, my realistic goal is merely Lexusification. And the whole point, of course, is that it's total stealth. No one knows but me.

So in one sense, the Silver Cross X Aston Martin makes perfect sense, and I applaud the concept. But seriously, they shouldn't have told ANYONE about it AT ALL. And definitely keep that thing out of freakin' Harrod's, are you kidding me?

Silver Cross Surf, Aston Martin Edition, £2,000 [harrods via gizmodo, thanks dt readers jjdaddy-o, rolf, and rachel]
Check out the Silver Cross Surf Stroller for £499 at Amazon UK [amazon.co.uk]

1 Comment

My husband would love that stroller!

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