We had a chance to drive the 2008 Chevy Malibu recently and said it's one of the best products (possibly the best midsize sedan) ever made by General Motors. Apparently, though, we didn't realize just how fashionably-styled the new Malibu really is.

Chevrolet has teamed up with (i.e. paid) Lucky Magazine and fashion designer Rafe Totengco to sell a line of fashion accessories inspired by the new Malibu in the Malibutique. Totengco says in the ad that appears in the November issue of Lucky, "The Chevy Malibu is an American icon; who wouldn't be inspired by that?" For some reason we're struck by the urge to raise our hands right now.

[Source: Lucky Magazine]

Fans of fashion (and apparently midsize sedans) can buy a Malibu-inspired key and card case in gunmetal snakeskin for $75. The ad says its red satin insides are "inspired by the luxe interior of the all-new Chevy Malibu..." We were all over that car for almost a full day, and don't remember any satin or metallic snakeskin.

There is also a similarly-styled wallet for $85, which, as the ad says, can be used to hold all that extra money you'll have after buying the $19,995 Malibu. And the third piece in the inspired-by-Malibu collection is a flap clutch with hardware "inspired by the jeweled chrome accents" on the Malibu. It's $150 and also covered the same sun-reflecting snakeskin not found on the Malibu.

Does Campbell-Ewald, GM's ad agency, really think snooty-sounding ads selling gaudy bags are going to persuade import drivers to visit a Chevy showroom? This element of the $150 million Malibu ad budget reeks of desperation, and, in our opinion, isn't necessary. The Malibu is worthy on its own to take every other competitor in its price range. It's a good thing the Malibutique is only available for a limited time. The sooner it ends, the better.

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